What is Annoyware or Nagware? How does it affect you? How to protect yourself from Annoyware?
Surfing the Internet is like traveling to a dense jungle! Like the dense jungle, you never know the threats and malware you will face on the Internet. Hackers and cybercriminals are always one step ahead of the security companies and law enforcement agencies. One such threat is Annoyware. Annoyware is also called Nagware because of its persisting and nagging nature. When you visit a shady website or download a freeware/shareware, you will often find yourself presented with such Annoyware. In this article, we will try to make you aware of the dangers of Annoyware or Nagware. We will explain what it is and how it can affect you. Also, most importantly, we will give tips to protect you!
What is Annoyware aka Nagware?
Annoyware is a type of pop-up that prompts the user to perform an action such as registering to a certain website, accepting a certain offer or purchasing a computer application. The concept of Annoyware is to persist the user with popups till he/she clicks YES on the link out of frustration or tiredness. Once the user accepts the offer on popup it can have cascading security implications.
Some annoyware will install a default search engine that can hijack your Chrome or Firefox browser and make you visit sites you don’t ever wish to see. We have detailed two such search extensions called SearchSpace and Mazy Search in this article and explained how you can remove them.
Some annoyware can download malware and execute the payload on your PC/laptop. Users will often find annoyware operating in conjunction with shareware programs for downloadable trials. Some annoyware is harmless like eCommerce websites advertising to make users buy their products. But largely, annoyware uses persistence advertising into making the computer/laptop and smartphone user click on the YES or ACCEPT button out of sheer frustration. Annoyware is also known as nagware or floating ads.
How to avoid Annoyware aka Nagware?
Keeping your cool while surfing websites is very important to avoid these types of threats. Do not click on any popup that offers you free tickets, free means, free coupons, free discounts. However enticing it might be. You should totally avoid falling victim to Annoyware.
Remember, Annoyware is not limited to PC and laptops, it comes on your smartphones too. You may have often visited a website and suddenly there is a popup that claims your smartphone has an xxx number of viruses. The popup seems uncannily real as it often names your smartphone. It offers you an option to SCAN NOW. Do not press YES. This is a malware payload. In such times it is good to have some common sense.
Annoyware thrives on your error or tiring you out. Once you loose cool, you click yes on the popup and it will download malicious software, install shareware, hijack your browser, install a new search engine, or access a sensitive page.
Blocking popups from shady sites is a good practice. Use your Chrome/Firefox settings to block popups from unwanted websites. In your smartphone go to Chrome.
- Tap the three vertical dot menu button in the top-right corner.
- Choose Settings > Site settings > Pop–ups.
- Turn on the toggle to allow pop–ups, or turn it off to block pop–ups.
On your PC/laptop go to Chrome Settings,
- Go to Privacy And Security
- Site Settings
- At the bottom of the settings screen, disable Popups and Redirects.
Firefox has similar settings. For your smartphone, Open Firefox
- Tap the hamburger menu button at the bottom.
- Swipe left, and then choose Settings.
- Turn on the toggle for Block Pop–up Windows to block pop–ups, or turn it off to allow pop–ups.
On your Desktop or PC, Open Firefox,
- Click on the drop-down menu on the top left corner of the Firefox browser, and select “Options.”
- The “Options” window will open.
- Click on the “Content” tab.
- check the “Block pop–up windows”.
- Click the “ok” button.
- Pop–Up Windows is now blocked in Mozilla Firefox Browser.
You can also block such popups through your anti-virus software. Any good antivirus can prevent the entry of threats that compromise your PC/laptop or smartphone.
Another important issue is to keep your smartphone/PC/laptop updated. Cybercriminals rely on such vulnerabilities and flaws. So don’t wait to update your smartphone/PC/laptop software, do it immediately.
Annoyware or Nagware is one issue that you can’t just ignore or it could make your life miserable. If Annoyware installs a search engine on your Smartphone, you will find that surfing the website using your browser is a pain. Be aware, be informed, and be cool. Don’t fall prey to Annoyware and nagware.