Adware refers to any type of application or software that can hijack your browser to show you intrusive ads. Ads are a means to make money, and adware designers get revenue from every displayed ad.

While adware does not pose as much danger as malware, it can still be a security threat because Adware can affect computers as well as mobile devices.

Ways you might get adware

  • Unwitting downloads: Adware can come disguised as regular file content. If you download files from an unofficial website, you run the risk of it coming with adware — it can also install itself automatically and covertly. 
  • Visits to unfamiliar websites: Certain websites are riddled with adware codes, which make it super easy for just any action within the website to start a download process without the user’s knowledge or consent. 
  • Weak spots in your system: Hackers can exploit any weakness in your system to install adware.

How does adware generate money?

  • Pay-per-click (PPC): Everytime you open an ad.
  • Pay-per-view (PPV): Everytime you see an ad.
  • Pay-per-install (PPI): Everytime you install software with adware built-in on your system.