Cookies are the small data packs that your web browser saves when you surf online. Cookies help websites track your behavior based on your activities to improve their products and services. Apart from this, cookies also provide users with a smoother and more convenient internet surfing experience. Most of you might be aware of different types of cookies. But there are some cookies that are associated with Adware. These cookies are called Adware tracking cookies. As the name implies, these cookies aim to track the users’ online behavior and internet history. Because these types of cookies come with adware, they can be a threat to the user’s privacy.
Some popular browsers have taken a step to protect the users’ privacy. For example, Mozilla Corporation had introduced Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox Quantum in 2020. And now, in 2021, it introduced Total Cookie Protection in Firefox Quantum. Similarly, Google Chrome has plenty of security extensions. However, as a user, you always remain worried about our data and privacy. Therefore, removing such types of cookies from your web browsers is the best practice to protect your data and privacy.
In this article, we will understand different aspects of adware tracking cookies. We will also see the different methods to protect your data and privacy from such types of cookies.
What is Adware?
Adware is a special type of computer program built for marketing purposes. Adware is not really dangerous by itself, but it is not a good thing either. It can become a host for different types of malware and thus can harm your computer. Apart from this, adware also stores a lot of users’ data like searching and browsing behavior.
When adware enters your system, you will experience a poor web browsing experience. For example, when you land on a website, your browser displays many pop-up ads instead of showing you the website directly. Adware also spreads just like a computer virus. Most often, the adware remains hidden in cookies.
Cookies are not designed to steal users’ personal data or information. Instead, they are developed to smoothen the users’ web browsing experience. For example, when you log into your account on a particular website, it saves some of your information but not your password. In this way, with the help of cookies, websites decrease the initial steps of the login process when the same user visits again on the same device.
But some cookies are developed to track the users’ information like their browsing history, the number of pages they visited, and other data. Some cookies can also save sensitive users’ information. What type of data cookies store depends on who designed them.
Read: What are SuperCookies?
Is Adware new?
Adware is not new. It has been here since 1995. Today’s adware is not as dangerous as viruses and malware, but still, it is a threat to your privacy.
How do you know when Adware has entered your system?
Whenever we download a free software, if we are not careful, we often end up with some crapware, potentially unwanted programs, bundleware, unwanted toolbars, a new search engine or home page. All this typically happens when Adware gets on to our computers. If you notice the following signs in your system, you may have malicious adware on it.
- Your browser’s home page has changed automatically.
- You are experiencing trouble in opening web pages inspite of having a high-speed internet connection.
- You see ads everywhere, even where they should not be.
- You have a new addon on your browser, which you have not installed.
- Your web browser’s windows crash more often.
- The links of websites take you to different addresses.
- Your entire device and the web browser become too slow.
Read: How do you tell if your computer has a virus?
Do Adware Tracking Cookies make your Computer slow?
Adware is a computer program that can enter your system when you allow cookies on some malicious websites. Every computer program needs memory to run. Because adware is also a computer program that enters into your system due to adware tracking cookies, it also consumes some memory. The presence of many adware makes your system run slow.
Read: What is Cookie Stealing or Scraping?
Are Adware Tracking Cookies harmful?
Adware tracking cookies are a security threat to your computer. If you have an antivirus program on your computer, you might have noticed that these tracking cookies are flagged by antivirus. This is because these cookies can store your personal data and track sensitive information. If you have more than one computer connected to the same network, adware tracking cookies can be a security threat to all your systems.
How to remove Adware & its Tracking Cookies?
If you are a victim of adware tracking cookies, follow these steps to get rid of them:
1] Remove Unknown Software
Launch the control panel of your system to check whether there is any unwanted app installed on it or not. To launch the control panel, press the “Windows + R” keys and write “Control Panel,” and click on the “OK” button. If you find any unwanted program, consider uninstalling it.
Read: How to Uninstall Programs not listed in Control Panel?
2] Remove Unknown Extensions and Addons from Web Browsers
Launch your web browser and check whether there is any unknown extension, plugin, or addon or not. Delete all unwanted and unknown addons because they may be a security threat.
3] Reset your Web Browser
Resetting the browser sets it to the default settings and cleans everything. This process will fix all the changes made by the adware tracking cookies.
4] Run an Antivirus Scan
Run a full system scan with a good antivirus program or Windows Defender. This process will delete all the viruses, adware, spyware, malware, and other security threats from your PC.
You should also use a free tool like AdwCleaner to scan your PC. This useful freeware lets you carry out the following tasks with the click of your button:
- Reset Proxy
- Delete tracing keys
- Delete Prefetch files
- Delete IFEO keys
- Reset Winsock
- Reset TCP/IP
- Reset Firewall
- Reset IPSec
- Reset BITS
- Reset IE Policies
- Reset Chrome policies
- Reset Hosts file.
Ultra Adware Killer is another similar tool you may consider.
5] Go Incognito
Cookies create a problem when they remain stored in your web browser for a long time. If you surf the internet in private mode, all your history and cookie data will be deleted automatically when you exit. Therefore, you will have a safer internet surfing experience in private browsing. Or alternatively, you could set your browser to clear all cookies on exit.
We hope this article helped you learn a lot about Adware and Adware tracking cookies. Happy browsing!