Anti Adware Programs: How Do They Work?

Anti-adware programs are also known as adware cleaners and adware removers. They are normally part of anti-spyware programs, which remove both adware and spyware. With all of the effort you take to protect yourself from adware, it's a good idea to get an adware cleaner to remove any adware that you already have and further protect your computer from future adware threats. But at the same time, you may be wondering how these programs work.

Adware cleaners and anti-spyware programs scan your computer for files containing similar codes to known adware and spyware. If the cleaner finds such files, it will alert you of their existence and give you the option to delete the files. Many adware and spyware removal programs also give you information about the specific files that they find, such as the adware or spyware's name, origin, and what it was designed to do. This may help you in deciding whether to delete it.

In general, all spyware should be deleted and most adware should be deleted as well. If you suspect that something found by the adware cleaner is important for a specific program, most adware removers give you an option to put a file in quarantine. This means that it is deactivated but not deleted. You can try out your programs with the files deactivated, and if everything runs smoothly you can go back to delete the files. Just don't forget to go back and delete!

The key to adware removers working effectively is their definition databases. This is the library of information about different adware that the program keeps on hand so it can compare your computer files to known adware, thus determining if any of your files are similar enough to the adware database to be adware themselves. Adware databases grow daily as newer adware is discovered. Therefore, to keep the newest adware off your computer, it is important to keep your definition database up-to-date. There is usually a handy "Updates" button available on most anti-adware programs.

Are Pop-Up Blockers Anti-Adware Programs?

Some people may also consider pop-up blockers to be a form of anti-adware, since they block common products of adware, pop-ups. However, these types of programs are not the same things as adware cleaners since they don't detect the sources of pop-ups on your computer and attempt to remove them; instead they just block the pop-ups themselves. In addition, pop-up blockers do not necessarily block pop-ups caused by adware, which can appear on your screen even when you're not surfing the internet. They only block the pop-ups caused by advertising on websites you visit. Pop-up blockers are normally an add-on to your browser, so they can't shield you from adware that appears on your desktop.

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser