How can Adware Steal Your Personal Data?
Let’s say go decide to download some software. The provider will ask you to agree to the terms and conditions, which are long, boring, and written in small font to boot. We don’t blame you for agreeing to them without reading them. However, this is not without risk. You might end up downloading adware along with your software of choice.
Can adware harm you? We share the findings of a university study on adware conducted in partnership with Google and discuss the process of adware removal. In the end, we share a shortlist of reliable adware removal apps.
Google and New York University researchers teamed up to see what adware actually does to devices. Adware is a combination of “malware” and “advertisement.” Typically, it refers to ads that the user downloads without his knowledge or which appear on a screen unsolicited.
Once downloaded, the adware might bombard users with pop-up ads and gather personal data to push customized ones. Not everyone has a problem with this. Many people don’t mind it. There are some, however, who feel adware invades their privacy.
It’s not “Stealing” Personal Data
We come back to the fact that you must read the terms and conditions. They might contain details about software programs within the package. The saying “the devil’s in the details” has never been more relevant. When you click on “agree,” you’re consenting to the adware. That means it’s not “stealing” anything. You agree that you’re downloading it, and it will collect your data when you consent to the installation.
While Google has been trying to track down sites with lots of adware for years, they still don’t have a lot of information about the businesses behind them. Adware is lucrative – and very common.
Grasping Adware’s Business Model
Researchers studied a specific type of adware bundled with legitimate software in an effort to obtain a better grasp of adware companies’ business models. A number of different adware providers were tested. Researchers downloaded their adware repeatedly, then took the respective code apart. They discovered the software took a quick “glance” at all the data on a computer once installed. That helped it evade security measures and pinpoint personalized ads.
Since adware providers receive payment with every download, this activity makes a lot of sense to them. They are always trying to avoid safe browsing detection along with other adaptive measures.
Sometimes you don’t even get a warning. This is adware at its worst. Don’t download anything that seems too good to be true; it probably is. Avoid clicking on pop-ups or links that advertise free things, even if it’s just to close the pop-up. Always purchase software or programs from legitimate companies.
The Aftermath of an Adware Infection
Adware will not only slow your computer down but compromise even the most basic of functions and use up your bandwidth or data. It can do horrible things to a device, going through information quietly and without your knowledge. Malicious adware can hijack credit card info, passwords, or contacts as well as steal your browsing history. Recently, Android malware infections were determined to be using adware concealed in mobile game apps.
Lenovo pre-installed adware on some of their products, which caused a stir. According to security specialists, the adware exposed the affected systems to hackers.
Be on the lookout for boxes to check when installing software. These can conceal all kinds of pesky search engines and other unpleasantries.
Cybercriminals are aware of the fact that Android leads the mobile market in sales and are increasingly targeting smartphones to get personal details. The first measure you should take is to install anti-virus protection on your phone and computer. You’ll see “verify apps” under Settings on Android. Always click that when downloading an app or software. Remove pirated and suspicious apps.
Getting rid of Adware from Android
You have adware on your phone if ads are being displayed even when data is off. If this is happening, go to Settings on your device, then to the tab “Apps.” Check the apps you have there. If you see any suspicious ones, uninstall them at once. Some reliable adware removers include AndroHelm Mobile Security, 360 Security, TrustGo Antivirus, Avira Antivirus Security, AVG Antivirus Security, AVAST Mobile Security, and Bitdefender Antivirus.