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Adware Spyware Adware Malware information

Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software application in which advertisements are displayed while the program is running. These applications include additional code that displays the ads in pop-up windows or through a bar that appears on a computer screen. Adware helps recover programming development costs, and helps to hold down the price of the application for the user (even making it free of charge)--and, of course, it can give programmers a profit, which helps to motivate them to write, maintain, and upgrade valuable software.

Some adware is also shareware, in that users are given the option to pay for a "registered" or "licensed" copy, which typically does away with the advertisements. These adware programs do not usually track a user's personal information.
                    Eudora - email client
                    Opera - web browser

Other adware programs have been criticized for including code or bundled applications that track a user's personal information and passes it on to third parties, without the user's authorization or knowledge. This practice has been dubbed Spyware and has prompted an outcry from computer security and privacy advocates, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
                    Gator (now known as Claria)
                    TopText - comes with KaZaA

Adware can also describe any application or software which facilitates the distribution of online advertisements to end users. As such it is similar to spyware in that it that gathers user information and browsing patterns and uses this information to display advertisements in the Web browser., but unlike spyware, Adware contains a disclosure (somewhere in the terms and conditions) telling you that your information will be used.

It is important to read the privacy policy when downloading Adware.

Adware Removal

There are a number of software applications available to help computer users search for and modify adware programs to block the presentation of advertisements and to remove spyware modules. To learn more about how to detect adware programs, remove adware, or block adware CLICK HERE

More Adware/Spyware applications
Listed below are some common Adware applications

· Bargain Buddy
Displays popup advertisements. Installs secretly. Bundled with other applications.

· A Better Internet
Displays advertisement popups that appear on top of all open windows. Advertisements are based on word; appear in your web browser. Uses an identifier

· Kazaa
Kazaa is an effective peer to peer file sharing program, and with its accompanying hitchhiker programs is a classic example of Adware.
When it is installed, the default option also installs three other adware applications, from Cydoor, DoubleClick and WhenU. These advertising networks will serve ads based on your country (given when you register Kazaa), browsing habits, search engine keyword searches and other criteria. How do these networks track your user history? A little application sits on your computer, tracks your internet usage and feeds this information back to the ad server. Technically, you agree to this when you install Kazaa (you can read the privacy policy of each company by clicking on the links at the beginning of this paragraph), but it would take a little digging to glean this fact out of the verbose user agreement.

Kazaa adamantly denies these applications are spyware, based on the fact that you have the option of not installing the Adware and, even if installed, these applications don’t send personal information such as names and email addresses. Anti spyware vigilantes maintain that Kazaa is splitting hairs.

· TopText - comes with KaZaA and other file-sharing programs such as iMesh. TopText will alter all pages viewed in IE, adding extra links to words and phrases targeted by advertisers. These links are unauthorised by the operators of the sites being viewed,and create unwanted advertising smart tags throughout third-party software.

· Bonzi Buddy
You may have encountered this little purple gorilla through Bonzi’s ubiquitous popup ad campaign.
Bonzi Buddy enlivens your desktop, helping you browse, manage downloads, providing email alerts, finding better prices while shopping, singing songs, telling jokes, remembering special dates and more.
But… this persistent primate is heavily sponsored to sell you things you do not want, and can also be very irritating to the pc user. In addition it sneakily sends information from your computer out to the Bonzi ad server.

· Gator
Like the name implies, behind its helpful exterior, Gator has a lethal bite, both for users and online advertisers. In its benign form, Gator is a helpful little app that helps you remember all those user names and passwords and stores them in a secure desktop “wallet”.

Gator’s dark side is embodied by the bundled adware, Offer Companion. Offer Companion sits on your desktop and monitors your browsing habits to identify your interests. When you hit a site on a topic area that matches the target of one of the advertisers in its database, you’ll be served a related ad, either in a pop up or slide up window. The downside for the user? Again, do you really want a third party monitoring your online activities and firing this information off the advertisers? And for online advertisers, do you really want visitors to your site being bombarded by ads from your competition?

· Comet Cursor
You may have found Comet Cursor magically appearing on your computer without your knowledge. Comet Cursor is the little program that turns your cursor into a dog, cat or Homer Simpson when you visit a website. Often, the program is downloaded with the ActiveX controls that are indicated as required when you visit the site. Comet Cursor was being bundled with RealPlayer downloads as well.

Comet Cursor monitors online activity and will present advertising offers based on your browsing habits. Comet Cursor is apparently trying to make amends for past transgressions by publishing a privacy policy on its site.

Some of the information and material on this page has been obtained from the Wikipedia. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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