The Difference of Adware, Spyware and Anti-virus
Adware, spyware and computer viruses share some similarities, one of which is that all three are major nuisances for computer users. Let's differentiate the three.
Spyware is software that does not intentionally harm your computer. What they do is that they create pathways wherein someone else aside from the computer owner can communicate with the computer. Normally spywares record the various types of web sites you visit which are later used by web advertisers to allow them to send you unwanted emails and pop-ups.
This is why spyware are usually frowned upon and greatly avoided. They are more intrusive than adware. Spyware have their own separate executable programs which allow them to record your keystrokes, scan files on your hard disks and look at other applications that you use including but not limited to chat programs, cookies and Web browser settings.
The spyware then will send the information that it had gathered to the spyware author. The agent will then use this information for advertising and marketing purposes. They even sell the information to advertisers and other parties.
Adware, on the other hand, are more legitimate form of freeware. Similar to spyware, adwares are advertising materials which are packaged into a software or program and are installed automatically once that particular program or software is added into the computer system. Some forms of adware, on the other hand, download advertising contents as a particular application is being utilized. It is quite unfortunate that most of the adware programs take the form of spywares that is they track and report user information to program authors.
Some signs of spyware infections include pop-up ads that seem to be not related to the site you are viewing. More often than not, spyware pop-ups are advertisements about adult contents. Also if you notice your computer slowing down, there's a big chance that spywares and its other components have found their way in your operating system. When the Windows desktop also takes a longer time to load, its best to scan your computer for possible spyware infections.
Meanwhile, viruses are destructive form of software. They were purely designed and created for one purpose alone: to wreck havoc to your computer. They destroy whatever they come in contact to and will initiate self replication and infect as many components of the computer's operating system or network as possible.
Nowadays, a lot of anti-virus software also provides spyware and adware scanning and removal utilities. Some programs, however, are focused on located and deleting or destroying spyware and adware programs. Whether is an anti-virus software or a anti-spyware dedicated scanner, they both search your computer and identify any spyware and virus installed on your system.
They then remove it as well as their components located in the system registry among other places in your computer. It is therefore, good to regularly update your virus or spyware scanner to ensure that your computer is protected from the thousands of spyware and viruses in the internet. Never be fooled from ads that claim that their products only contain adware.
These adware maybe spyware in disguised and are just waiting to be deployed for them to gather your information. Learn to setup firewall systems and always block pop-up blockers to minimize computer infection and ensure the security of all your computer files.