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Signs Your Computer is Affected by Adware

It is obvious that you have adware on your computer if you see advertisements in any of your applications or if you see pop-up advertisements on your desktop.

However, adware can be sneaky, and your computer may also be affected in less obvious ways too. Here is a list of ways adware can affect your computer:

  • Advertisements within applications
  • Pop-up advertisements on your desktop
  • Pop-up search results relating to websites you are browsing
  • Pop-up search results relating to keywords you type into other search pages
  • A new internet home page
  • New toolbars in your internet browser
  • New internet favorites and bookmarks
  • New programs in your start-up program list
  • Host file changes - meaning that when you type in a familiar website address in your browser, another, unexpected site comes up instead
  • A slow internet connection
  • Sluggish computer start-up and shut-down
  • Delays when loading or refreshing your desktop
  • System shut-downs for no apparent reason
  • System freezes or crashes for no apparent reason
  • Software failures

By no means is this list the limit of what may happen to your computer when you have adware installed, and your computer doesn't need to have all of these symptoms for you to determine that you have adware.

Why Does Aware Produce These Changes?

The reasons for some of these changes are obvious. For example, advertisements appearing in applications and pop-ups on your desktop do so because the reason for adware is to promote a website or product. These are the effects of blatant advertising. Random search results that pop up when you surf the internet or type in a key word, for new internet home pages, bookmarks and favorites, and new browsers toolbars are also forms of blatant advertising from adware. The adware produces search results hoping you will click on its links to affiliate websites. New internet home pages, favorites, browser toolbars and host file changes are also designed to guide to you the websites sponsoring the adware.

The reasons for other changes due to adware are less obvious and have to do with the way your co computer runs. Adware can produce a slow internet connection because it uses up bandwidth when it retrieves advertisements from the internet. It can slow your system down and cause delays when loading your desktop because of the working memory it uses up for the rest of your computer's functions. Finally, system shut-downs, freezes and failures for no apparent reason are a function of the integrity of the adware program. Many adware applications are programmed badly, and this can increase the overall stability of your computer.

Because of these changes, many people choose to remove adware from their computers and prevent adware from getting on to their computers again.

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.