Adware protection is primarily achieved by installing software that can help prevent adware installations. These programs are usually referred to as anti-adware or anti-spyware. Some anti-virus software may also help in preventing adware installation, but in many cases, this protection is minimal. Adware does not behave in the same way as computer viruses, so many virus programs fail to recognize them. Adware protection can also be accomplished by employing caution when visiting websites, and enabling pop-up blockers within browsers.
Many people enable adware without even knowing they are doing so, because adware is often disguised. In many cases, adware programs hide behind error dialogue boxes designed to encourage users to click on the message. Clicking the message then gives the program permission to install adware on the computer hard drive. The general accepted rule of thumb is not to click the yes button on any dialogue box unless the originator of the dialogue box is absolutely known and trusted. Installing pop-up blockers can often reduce the risk of this type of adware infection.
Another good way to ensure adware protection is to be very careful when installing new programs. This is especially true if the program is in the form of a computer download. Programs available as free downloads are generally considered notorious for containing adware and spyware. Users should probably avoid freeware unless they are certain it is coming from a trusted and reputable source. It is a good idea to run an Internet search before installing any type of freeware, because if the download is known to contain adware, most of the time, other users have posted this information.
Some of the best adware protection involves sensible web surfing, because adware can be page embedded and installed by clicking links within websites. Some users use script protection programs that help reduce this type of risk. When script protection is being used, web pages only show trusted content. One drawback to using script protection is that the programs are usually very broad and may inadvertently exclude safe page content. To avoid this problem, users typically have to spend some time adjusting the way their script programs filter content.
Some adware is sent using email programs, so it is a good idea to avoid clicking links contained within unsolicited emails. Most people enable spam blockers within their email programs to reduce the number of messages received from advertisers, but in many cases, dangerous emails are able to get around these filters. It is a good idea to delete messages that come from unknown email addresses.