Simple activities such as surfing on the Internet, reading emails, downloading music, movies or other files can infect your personal computer without you even knowing it. According to recent studies more than 90% computers are infected with some kind of spyware, adware or viruses (malware).
Adware (Advertising Supported Software) is software that displays advertisements you don't want or you didn't request for on a your computer screen while the program is running. Adware includes a code that delivers the advertisement and tracks users' personal information to pass it on to third parties.
The code may be viewed either through pop-up windows, pop-under windows or through a bar that appears in the Internet browser.
Some adware is also shareware. It means that users are given the option to pay for the "registered" copy which actually destroys the advertisements.
Examples of some shareware with bundled adware:
Kazaa—File sharing program. It also contains spyware
iMesh—File sharing program. It also contains spyware
Eudora—Email client Opera—Web browser
Most Common Adware
The most common adware found on the Internet are:
Claria, Gain, Game Spy Arcade, Hotbar, Ezula, BonziBuddy, WeatherCast, LinkGrabber 99, TopPicks, Cydoor.
How to block adware
- Install an adware removal software. If you are already using it, remember to regularly update it. As adware companies are releasing more and more versions make sure you have the latest updates.
In case you have forgotten to update your software for more than seven days, it is highly probable to have adware installed onto your PC.
- Use a hosts file. This method asks for technical knowledge from the user since it involves editing a system file.
As we have mentioned above, adware companies make money from distributing advertisements on the Internet. To deal with a great amount of ads, most of them rely on "Ad Servers" that "distribute" ads to your computer.
So, one way to block adware is to stop adware companies from sending their advertisements to your computer. How? By blocking your computer from accessing the "Ad server". This method only stops them from showing up on your computer screen, while they still exist on your PC.
How does the host file work?
The hosts file contains a list of domains, for instance "www. gogo.com", and IP addresses . The normal way for your browser to find a domain name is to first check it with the hosts file. If it doesn't find it, then it will try to resolve it using DNS lookup.
What is the trick?
To figure out the domain name of the Ad Server you want to block and then to map it to your computer. And due to the fact that your computer doesn't have an ad server, the adware installed will not work.
How to block Internet advertisers
- Find your hosts file.
- Back up you hosts file in case an error should occur.
- Update your hosts file by adding lines to them in the following way: 127.0.0.1 www. EvilAdwareCompany.com . See hosts files samples.
- Try to visit one of the site in your hosts file. You should get a "Page not found" error. If not, reboot your computer and try again.
Click here to try Mike's Ad Blocking Hosts file
Protect yourself from spyware and adware