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Adware (advertising malware or advertising-supported software) may be defined as software that downloads or displays advertisements on users’ screens to generate revenues for its creator(s), often in the form of pop-ups, banners, film clips, unclosable windows, or altered website content. Adware is thus a blatant attempt to monetize computers and users’ attention. This entry discusses the various types of adware, the history of adware, and users’ and companies’ efforts to fight adware.

There are several types of adware. Some follow licensing agreements in which the user consents to install the software. Like spyware, some adware may also collect marketing data; some adware vendors claim that their product does not do this and therefore should not be considered spyware. Other types redirect users to advertising websites (called ...

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