Avoiding Adware

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in How To

Avoiding Adware

Adware is everywhere. It is hard to escape it. It can come in whenever you download something from the internet. In some cases, it can install itself. Here we are going to tell you a few ways to better protect yourself and keep an eye out for adware so it doesn’t infect your computer.

1. Be selective what you download to your computer. If you just go around downloading things all willy-nilly like, anything could show up and infect your computer. Downloading free software and games is the primary way get hit with adware. If you need to download HP printer software, make sure you only download it from the manufacturers site. A web search for “HP printer drivers” will sometimes show many different results. Do not click on any of the results that are not part of hp.com (the manufacturer’s actual site).

2. Watch out for third party sponsored programs. After you download a program, you have to run the installation. Usually there are a few small windows where you agree to terms and click “next”, sometimes there are check boxes to install toolbars or third party (sponsored) programs. Be sure to uncheck all of them, or else something could slip in.

3. Beware of clicking pop ups and advertisements. If popups come up when you are on your desktop asking you to update Flash, go ahead and do it. But if popups come up when you are on the internet, get rid of them as fast as you can. Don’t click on them. By doing that you risk getting adware.

4. Don’t install toolbars. Toolbars are essentially just adware in a different form. Don’t install them. Don’t use them.

5. Watch out for programs that change your search page. If a program wants to change your search page, don’t agree to anything. That is also adware and it wants you to use their services to serve you ads or collect your search habits. Not good.

6. Read license agreements. If anywhere in the license agreement it says anything about changing your search page, installing a toolbar, changing your homepage or anything of the sort, do not agree. This is adware.

7. Adverts in Emails. Don’t click on unsolicited emails or emails that you don’t know who they are from. These may contain adware, malware, or poisoned links that can try to steal your identity.


five out six of the things that are circled above in the picture, are advertisements that are trying get you to download things that you weren’t even searching for. It is very hard to tell what you are going to download because there are so many different things to click on that say “download”. This is a really good example of what you have to be careful about.

How do I know I have adware?
Has your search page changed to something you have never heard of, like Conduit?
Is your homepage suddenly different than the one you generally use?
Is your browser freezing?
Are you getting popups?
All these things and more or less tell you that you have Adware.

How do I get rid of adware?
You can try to uninstall it in the “change/uninstall programs” tab under “Computer”. But sometimes the adware is tricky to get rid of, so if you can’t figure out how to do it, we can do it for you.

If anything looks even a little suspicious, don’t use it. Don’t download it. Stop, and give us a call at Mike’s Computer Repair. We can give you advice, help you out, and if you do end up getting adware on your computer, bring your computer by for a security audit and a clean up. Just call for an appointment.

Mike and Dominic are qualified to meet your computer service needs. Service areas include Long Beach Peninsula, Long Beach, Ocean Park, Ilwaco, Seaview, Chinook, Surfside, Oysterville, Klipsan Beach, Nahcotta, Naselle, Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Arch Cape.
Call us: (360)642-2125