adware - Computer Definition
- A type of spyware that records search information and forwards it to an advertising agency or market research firm that later uses it to tailor pop-up ads for delivery to users without their knowledge or consent. See also spyware.
- Hardware, firmware, and software as it is advertised rather than as it exists. Unfortunately, truth in advertising is not a given. Always read the fine print and check references, especially for users of similar size, using the product in similar configurations with similar intensity in similar applications. Brochureware is a type of adware that you pick up at a trade show and take with you. See also fine print.
Software delivering pop-up advertisements based on Websites that online users browse. Online users find adware to be particularly annoying, and computer critics maintain that adware often degrades computer performance. It can also track users’ browsing habits and is generally installed without users’ permission.
Claria Corporation, previously called Gator Corporation, a pioneer of such software, said in March 2006 that it was leaving this business by June 2006. Claria officials maintain that they have hired Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc., to sell their adware assets. Claria is now interested in focusing on PersonalWeb, a new service generating personalized Web portals. Previously, Claria’s software came bundled with free products such as the eWallet password-storage program or file-sharing software such as KaZaA.
In Brief. Adware Pioneer to Exit Business. The Globe and Mail, March 23, 2006, p. B13.
(1) (AD supported softWARE) Free software supported by advertising messages. The ads may be targeted to the individual based on key words entered into search engines and the types of Web sites the user visits. See freemium and adserver.
(2) (ADvertisementWARE) Also called "pitchware," adware is software that periodically collects the user's browsing behavior in order to pop up targeted ads on the computer. Adware often accompanies a program the user purposely downloads, and although it may be clearly indicated during the install procedure, novices generally keep clicking Next without reading the dialogs. If the adware is installed without disclosure, it is considered "spyware." If the disclosure is in the end user license agreement (EULA), it is still spyware because people click "I agree" without reading it. See contextual marketing, popup ad, PUP, spyware, parasite and wares.