Review: Ad-Aware SE
Ad-Aware SE Professional
+46 (0) 515 503 00
There are more bad things on the Internet than just viruses and worms,
of course. You'll find sneaky programs that track your browsing habits,
programs that hijack your browser start page, programs that inject popup
windows (usually advertising something that you'd be embarassed to have
your mother see) at the most inopportune times. Combatting this sort of
adware and privacy invasion is the purpose of Ad-Aware.
When you first install the application, it scans your system for known
parasites, poking around in the registry, looking at files, and even
inspecting alternate data streams in NTFS files. This can take quite a
while on a large system, but it's worth letting the process complete.
You'll likely find that a few suspicious things turn up, ranging from
cookies that are known to track surfing habits to dubious registry
entries. You can double-click any of these to get details, and with a
few mouse clicks you can wipe them back off your system.
Then, you can activate the AdWatch function to make sure such crud stays
gone after it gets gone. AdWatch monitors things coming in from the net
on a continuous basis, making sure that nothing bad gets installed in
the first place. There's also a ProcessWatch that does the same for
Even if you're careful about your own surfing habits, you may well find
that friends and relatives are less so. Knowing about Ad-Aware can be
part of a thorough cleaning program that many people need. I keep it up
and running on my kids' computers, since it's hard to know where they're
going to surf to next, and folks at childrens' Web sites are not above
dropping a raft of cookies or offering enticing things to click on.
One last thing: pay careful attention to the URL. Lavasoft is not, in
fact, at lavasoft.com (though the helpful people there do provide a link
to the site), nor is it at adaware.com (which leads to a copycat
program that some have suggested is of lower quality).