Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to remove Adware

Does your computer take forever to load pages? Does the computer strain endlessly doing simple tasks that require little use of the CPU or RAM? When visiting your home page do you often get redirected to other web pages with sales pitches?
         The problem is most likely that you computer is infected with adware. Not to fear there is a solution to remove the adware. I will first tell you common ways adware spreads on your computer; ways to remove adware; and finally some preventative maintenance.

Common ways adware is spread

  1. Free gaming websites or games that come with a computer. Wild Tangent, the result of free computer game package or website, slowed the heck out of my desktop for years.
  2. Free downloads. Often when you want to download free youtube to mp3 software. or free movies, music etc. you may get the service and think everything is fine and you saved money. But you spent something, namely the compromisation of your computer's security. As you allowed the file to download to your computer you also gave permission for adware to download and install to your PC. Not to mention the possibility of viruses. 
  3. Visiting certain websites automatically results in the installation of adware on your computer. 

Removing adware

  • The easiest way is to run a scan. Manual removal is more time consuming and easier to miss infections. For Internet Explorer users I highly recommend Spyhunter from Enigma Software . I also recommend Malwarebytes Anti-malware free from Malwarebytes Corporation   
  • The more difficult way is manual removal. This is the cleaning of the computer. Note: manual cleaning may not remove adware that regenerates. 
  • To clean your computer without software: First click on the start menu in the lower left corner. Click or hover mouse over All Programs. Next select Accessories by left clicking (normal click) it. Next click System Tools. Finally, click Disk Cleanup and following the promptings. 
  • The other way to manually clean your computer without software is to go to the tools setting in your browser and clear any adware cookies. 
  • The best manual method however is to use software such as the Piriform CCleaner. 
  • You may also find it helpful to import your favorites into another browser. Then delete the infected browser, and re-install it.

Preventative Maintenance
  • Pay for downloads. Buy the actual media. It's worth it!
  • Get software (start with what I recommended)
  • Run the scanners often, noting which sites or downloads repeatedly cause adware infections
  • Avoid those sites and downloads! Practice safe surfing
  • Give your computer a cleaning before you shut it down each nite.
  • Download only from the official website for such products as the VLC open source media player. 
Next week I will tackle "How to remove Spyware". Stay tuned!

       Written by Bobby Hurley