Category: Internet Security

What is Adware? How to Spot It and Protect Your Devices

What is Adware? How to Spot It and Protect Your Devices

Adware is short for advertising-supported software.  It’s a type of software that automatically displays or downloads advertisements to a user’s device. These ads often present themselves in the form of banners, pop-ups, or even embedded in the software itself. While not inherently malicious, adware can become problematic.

Issues arise when Adware compromises user experience, privacy, and security.  Adware can also slow down your computer or any mobile phone or table using an Android operating system. It may even redirect your internet searches.  In some cases, your personal information in collected to target you with more ads or even sell your data to third parties.

Ads Themselves are NOT Aware

To clear up any confusion. Adware is unwanted software. The ads themselves are not Adware.  So, when you see an add on a legitimate website, it’s being delivered to you via the website.

However, this is where it gets confusing. You may open your browser and start surfing the web and visit various websites and see ads, which is normal. But if Adware is installed on your computer, it may show you additional ads.

These ads may even pop up when you are on a website that does not have ads, when you are simply surfing the web, or even when you are not using a browser.

Are Adware Ads Malicious?

Possibly yes, but not necessarily. A malicious ad is a banner or text ad that infects your computer when you click it.  Malicious ads can even appear on legitimate ad networks for a short time, until they are caught and removed.  But malicious ads will more easily go unnoticed if you have software that is pre-loaded with adware.

This is why we said from the very beginning that adware is not inherently malicious. Google will disapprove ads from running on malicious software, but Google is not the only ad network and you should get rid of adware once you learn it’s on your computer.

Let’s explore how to spot Adware and how to remove it.

Recognizing Adware

Adware can be tricky to spot, especially since it often masquerades as legitimate software. Here are some common signs that your device might be infected with adware:

Frequent Pop-ups: An unusual number of pop-up ads appearing on your device, especially when you’re not browsing the web.

Browser Redirects: Being frequently redirected to advertising websites or seeing ads on web pages that typically don’t have them.

Slower Device Performance: A noticeable slowdown in your device’s performance and increased data usage.

Unwanted Toolbars: New toolbars appearing in your web browser that you didn’t install.

Unexpected Software: Programs that you don’t remember installing.

Protecting Your Device from Adware

Preventing adware from infecting your device requires a combination of cautious behavior and the use of protective software. Parents should also education their family members about the potential dangers of downloading software.  Adware as been known to be associated with kid friendly games.

Here are some effective strategies to protect your devices:

Install and Update Antivirus Software:

  • Use reputable antivirus software that includes adware detection. Regularly update it to ensure it can recognize and remove the latest adware threats.

Be Cautious with Downloads:

  • Download software only from reputable sources. Avoid downloading pirated software or clicking on pop-ups that prompt you to download updates or plugins.

Read Terms and Conditions:

  • Before installing any software, read the terms and conditions. Be skeptical of software that includes clauses about delivering advertising content.

Regularly Update Your Software:

  • Keep your operating system and all software updated. Developers often release updates that fix security vulnerabilities that adware can exploit.

Be Wary of Free Software:

Removing Adware

If you suspect your device is already infected with adware, it’s always best to remove it.  Here are steps to do just that!

1. Use Antivirus or Anti-Adware Tools:

  • Run a full system scan using your antivirus software. There are also dedicated anti-adware tools available that can help remove persistent adware.

2. Uninstall Suspicious Programs:

  • Go through your installed programs and uninstall any that you do not recognize or remember installing.

3. Reset Your Browser Settings:

  • Restore your web browser to its default settings. This can remove unwanted toolbars and extensions that adware may have added.

4. Clear Temporary Files:

  • Use disk cleanup tools to remove temporary files that could be harboring adware.

Wrapping Things Up

By staying vigilant and using a combination of preventative measures and protective software, you can significantly reduce the risk of adware infecting your devices and enjoy a safer, computing experience.

Even if you like an adware program’s features, it’s always best to uninstall it and search for alternative software that gives you full disclosure and options to opt-out of ads or any invasion of privacy.

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How a Mobile Proxy Server Can Protect You Online

How a Mobile Proxy Server Can Protect You Online

Are you using your phone for everything? From banking to browsing, our mobiles are our lifelines. But with so much personal info on your device, you should pay attention to staying safe online. Let’s discuss how a mobile proxy can become a game-changer in protecting you and your data.

What Are Mobile Proxies?

A mobile proxy server is a tool that hides your actual IP address by routing your internet traffic through different devices. With a proxy, it looks like your requests come from a mobile device, even if you use a computer.

Mobile Proxies Come in Two Main Types

Residential Proxies

These proxies use IP addresses from real mobile devices with SIM cards. They are linked to actual carriers like Verizon or AT&T. Because they come from real devices, they are very reliable and less likely to be blocked by websites.

They are perfect for accessing content and services that might block data center IPs.

Data Center Proxies

These proxies use IPs that come from data centers. They can simulate mobile IPs but don’t come from actual devices. Data center proxies are usually faster because they don’t rely on mobile networks. However, they might be easier to detect and block by websites because they don’t have the same legitimacy as residential proxies.

They’re great if you need speed but might not be as reliable for accessing certain sites.

How Can Mobile Proxies Protect You Online?

Mobile proxies are potent tools that can enhance your online safety and privacy. Here’s how they can protect you.

Hide Your IP Address

A proxy masks your real IP address. When you browse the web, the websites see the IP address of the proxy server, not yours. It keeps your location and identity private. For example, if you’re using a proxy at a coffee shop, anyone who tries to trace your online activity will see the proxy’s IP, not the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi IP.

Enhanced Security on Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient but risky. It’s where hackers can easily intercept your data. However, a proxy ensures you extra protection by hiding your real IP address and encrypting your data. With them, hackers can hardly track or steal your information. Whether you check your bank account or just browse social media, a mobile proxy can keep your data safe from prying eyes.

Prevent Tracking

Advertisers and websites love tracking your online activities to serve targeted ads. They follow you around the web to collect data on what you like and where you go. A proxy helps you browse anonymously, stopping these trackers from following you. It means you can browse the web without being bombarded by ads related to your recent searches or visits.

Avoid Geo-Blocks

Sometimes, content is only available in certain regions. If you can’t access such restricted content, proxies step in. Mobile servers can make it look like you’re browsing from a different location. For instance, if you want to watch a video only available in the US, a proxy can make it look like you’re browsing from the US, even in Europe.

How Can Mobile Proxies Protect You Online?

Avoid IP Bans

Some websites might block your IP if you visit them too often. It can be frustrating, especially if you need to access these sites regularly. Mobile proxies rotate IP addresses, pretending your requests come from different devices. For example, a proxy can help you avoid getting blocked if you’re doing extensive research or web scraping.

Improved Speed and Performance

Certain proxies can help speed up your internet connection. If your direct route is congested or slow, a proxy can reroute your data through a less busy path to improve your connection speed. This is especially useful when you stream videos or play online games, where speed and performance are crucial.

The Difference Between a Mobile Proxy and a VPN

A mobile proxy routes your internet traffic through a mobile device, using its IP address, typically from a mobile carrier. It is a gateway that assigns a device a mobile IP address rather than a residential IP or a VPN.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts your internet connection and routes it through a remote server, masking your IP address across all types of internet connections.


Mobile proxies help protect your privacy and security online. They hide your IP address, help you from being tracked, and keep your data safe on public Wi-Fi. So, why not stay safe and enjoy more private online surfing with proxies?

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Prioritizing Connectivity and Safety in Remote Living

Prioritizing Connectivity and Safety in Remote Living

Living off the beaten track is a great way to unplug from modern life and reconnect with nature. Rather than spending their days walking on sidewalks, your kids will get to play in woodlands, run up hillsides, and chase unsuspecting bugs around your yard. This improves their health and boosts their well-being.

Rural life can be just as fulfilling and lucrative as urban life today. Most children can attend remote schools, meaning they can still access top-quality learning from home. Similarly, you can work from home while living in the countryside and earn the same salary that your friends in the city bring home.

However, working remotely does mean you have to prioritize connectivity and safety when making decisions about your home. You’ll need a reliable, stable connection and should take steps to protect your family when living outside of the city limits. This will help you create a secure environment where your kids will thrive and will ensure that you can become just as productive as your office-bound peers.


Moving to the countryside may sound like a great way to avoid crime and shield your children from the chaos that comes with urban living. However, there has been a surge in rural crime in recent years. While it’s impossible to pinpoint why, exactly, crime is on the rise in rural areas, some suggest that heightened stress due to the pandemic is continuing to play a role.

You don’t need to convert your home into Fort Knox to feel safe while living in the countryside. Instead, take sensible measures to protect your family while improving your connectivity and saftey. Invest in an alarm system and set up some motion-sensor lights. If you want to appease your children and bolster your safety, consider getting a dog who will act as a natural deterrent for any potential burglars.

You can speak to your kids to ensure that they know how to stay safe when playing in the great outdoors, too. For example, if there’s been heavy rainfall, consider teaching your children about mud safety. While exposure to bacteria and bugs may strengthen their immune system, your kids should know not to put mud anywhere near their mouths or open wounds. Some mud is contaminated with toxic chemicals and tetanus bacteria, meaning children should exercise at least a little caution before diving into the first puddle they find.


Living away from the city means you’ll need to forgo some of modern life’s simple pleasures. You probably can’t order a macchiato on Uber Eats and you may struggle to find cell service while hiking in the great outdoors. However, before you make the move, you need to ensure that you have a stable, reliable internet connection. When shopping for WiFi, consider different types of internet for rural areas, including:

  • DSL: DSL internet is connected via phone lines and has been on offer since the 1990s. Just be aware that DSL can be slow compared to more modern forms of internet, and will offer download speeds between 1.4 – 15 Mbps.
  • Fiber: Fiber is not available in most rural locations. But, if it is, it is almost certainly your best option. As federal funding expands to rural infrastructure, expect to see more fiber availability in your area.
  • Fixed Wireless: Fixed services broadcast from towers into a receiver in your home. This is similar to cellular networks, but typically offers greater wifi speeds as you are not “sharing” the network with all the other phones in your area. This means you can expect speeds between 20 -50Mbps while working from home.
  • Satellite: As long as your home has clear access to the southern sky, you can use satellite internet. Providers like Viasat boast speeds of up to 150Mbps, but you will have a cap on the amount of broadband that you can use per month.

Finding the right broadband provider for you is crucial if you want to prioritize connectivity and saftey while living remotely. You may need to pay a little more to receive the fast speeds you need, but emergent technology like fiber broadband is expanding quickly and will connect more rural communities in the coming years. This can even improve the health and security of your family, as fast wifi allows you to connect remotely with healthcare providers and emergency services.

Protecting Your Health

Living out in the countryside can be a real boon if you struggle with conditions like asthma or find that the noise of the city adversely affects your mental health. Switching to the slower pace of rural life can help you stay active year-round, too, as you’ll be in the perfect position to take up new activities like gardening, hiking, skiing, or cycling.

However, you’ll need to take some proactive steps to protect your health, too. Being proactive is crucial, as you’re further from emergency support services when living away from big cities or towns. Get started by installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that will alert you to problems quickly. This may mean you need to replace existing alarms, as carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every five to seven years. You’ll need an alarm on every floor and should place carbon monoxide detectors outside every sleeping area.

You can also take steps to protect your child when at home by locking any doors that would give them access to yard equipment, padding sharp corners, and limiting their access to some areas of your outdoor space. This will give them plenty of room to roam without putting them in any peril.

Take advantage of online courses or certification renewal that are convenient for remote dwellers.


Switching to remote work can be a boon for you and your family. However, you’ll need to invest in reliable broadband and should take steps to protect your family from common rural threats. This will improve your connectivity and safety while offering peace of mind when the kids go out to play in the countryside.

About the Author
About the AuthorKatie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in education, mental health, family lifestyle and online safety. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. You can follow her on Twitter.

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How to Make Your Smart TV Safe Against Cyber Threats

Smart TVs are no longer a rarity in modern homes. They are more common than fridges and stoves. With recent years having seen the arrival of internet-connected televisions, the raised threat of cyber challenges is not to be dismissed.

According to a recent discovery, over 91,000 smart TVs are exposed, and face potential cyberattacks around the globe, putting the need for more security on the front line.

Secure Your Smart TV Against Cyber Threats

Using a VPN for your smart TV can enhance security by encrypting your internet connection and masking your online activities from potential cyber threats. This is particularly useful when accessing geo-restricted content securely and privately.

What Are the Risks?

Smart TVs, like smartphones and computers, can easily be hacked by cybercriminals as a means to spy on users, phish sensitive information, and even remotely control the user’s TV. These vulnerabilities usually come because they are smart through the connectivity to the internet, which allows the streaming and browsing capability.

Making Smart TV Security Smarter

One should never assume that a Smart TV first set up in your home is ready to safely use “out of the box”.  True, there are default security settings that come with every new Smart TV, but these are minimum safety measures at best. Here are things you will need to take care of to protect your home and family from hackers.

Make Regular Upgrades

One of the simplest yet effective ways to secure a Smart TV is to keep the software updated. Most manufacturers are willing to send out updates to patch bugs and close some security loopholes. Updating the operating system and applications on TV is important to decrease the risk of any possible exploits.

Make Your Home Network Secure

Your smart TV’s security largely depends on your house’s network security. Keep all your passwords for the Wi-Fi network and router strong and unique. The risks for security can be greatly reduced if default settings are not used and router firmware is updated periodically.

Make Use of the Standard Security Measures

Of course, a user would not notice many things on a smart TV because it has some security settings. For instance, inactive features like the camera or microphone can be turned off to avoid remote spying. Moreover, activating the built-in firewall will provide one more defense layer to thwart an attack.

Secure Your Smart TV Against Cyber Threats: Handle Applications with Care

Handle Applications with Care

Only install apps from the official store of your TV’s operating system. Most third-party apps have been identified as sources of cloaked malware. Developer details should be valid, and user reviews of the application should assist in judging the originality of the application before downloading.

Protect Personal Information

Smart TVs can store huge amounts of personal data, from Wi-Fi passwords to streaming service credentials. Be conscious about what you save on the device and ensure that sensitive data is always behind a strong password. Observe Traffic Behavior Monitor network activity for unusual behavior; unauthorized access is usually characterized by unusual behavior, such as unexplained spikes in data use. Use network traffic-monitoring tools and apps that provide the capacity to send an alert on time regarding security breaches.

With the increasing number of smart TVs in our homes, it is important to ensure the security of these devices. Subsequently, users can tap into the colossal benefits of their smart TVs without risking privacy and security if they remain aware of what there is and play a proactive role in securing it.

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