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Spyware versus Adware

Have you ever had pop up after pop up on your computer screen? Or have you ever seen it happen on someone else’s? This is something that is happening everyday. What is it? It is either Adware or Spyware.

What is Spyware?
Spyware is a program that monitors or spies on what computer users do on their computers. They then send the information that is gathered over the internet back to companies. The companies then bombard computers with advertisements.

What is Adware?
Adware is a program that monitors or spies on what computer users do on their computers. They then automatically install advertisements onto the computer.

Spyware and Adware: What is the difference?

You may be thinking that the definitions of spyware and adware sound very similar. They are similar indeed. The only difference between the two is that adware does not report to the company, instead it bypasses that and automatically loads the ads onto the computer.

So, what’s the big deal? Spyware and adware are taking computers over. The more adware or spyware that is loaded onto the computer, the longer it takes for the machine to go through its start up process. New toolbars appear in the browser. The homepage is changed and cannot be changed back. Pop-ups will not go away when the computer is running. It can slow your machine and your level of productivity down.

Isn’t Spyware and Adware just a way to advertise?

Spyware and Adware are an effort to advertise. Think about it this way though. Do you want to be spied on? That is exactly what is happening. Every move you make on your computer is watched, and then based on your computer activity, you receive pop-up ads. Now, ask yourself this question ‘If you are watching television, do you have to watch the commercials?’ No, of course not. You can choose whether you want to watch the ads, flip to a different channel or turn the television off. Okay, now, if you are driving down the road are you required to look at the billboards? No, you can completely ignore them. Advertising in and of itself is not a bad thing. It becomes a negative thing when people are forced to watch, see or read the advertisements. That is what happens with adware and spyware. The harder you try to eliminate the pop-ups, the more pop-ups you have to deal with. The simple truth is that it’s not really fair to force people to watch advertising.

What do the companies that make the Spyware and Adware say?

You might wonder about the response from the companies who create such products. They say that all they are doing is advertising. They are actually the ones who coined the term adware. Spyware was coined in order to get people’s attention and alert them to what spyware was doing to their computers. In an effort to redeem themselves, the companies created the adware that does not “spy” in that it does not report the computer activity to someone, but instead automatically installs the advertisement. They said that adware is simply to advertise and that some people just do not like advertisements. They claim that their software is legitimate.

So, is the software legitimate?

Well, let’s take a look at what these companies do. Many will install root kits in an effort to adware files so that the computer user does not find them. If it is legitimate then why do they need to hide the files? Adware often puts more than one file into the memory. Then, if one process is canceled out, another can kick in and restart it. If the files are changed, then they are changed back. If it is legitimate then why do the companies take such extreme measures to make it hard for you to remove their software? The adware takes over the computer by displaying pop-up after pop-up after pop-up. The pop-ups become so numerous that no matter how many you close you can not get them to go away because closing them causes more to open. The software causes bogs up the computer memory and eventually causes the computer to crash. If computers are crashing due to the software, then is this really legitimate?

What You Can Do About It

I cannot stop the companies from loading the adware and spyware by myself. You can not stop them from loading the software by yourself either. However, together we can inform people what spyware and adware is. Then, we all need to take a stand against it.

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About the Article Author

By Mindy Matter for here you’ll learn about online privacy and how to remove adware

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