Concept of digital diagram (© SFIO CRACHO / Fotolia.com)
Concept of digital diagram (© SFIO CRACHO / Fotolia.com)

You’ve heard of AdSense and AdMob. No doubt you’re aware that these are good options for monetizing sites and apps. Perhaps you’re considering using them for your own internet marketing strategy. But what about AdClick? Unfortunately, AdClick is not another AdSense, but rather an example of the lowest form of internet marketing. This is a frustrating and damaging adware that has irritated countless people and caused huge numbers of problems.

Here’s what you need to know about it

ADClick is a frustrating ‘adware’ that infects computers and delivers ads to them without their permission. This is one of the more prevalent forms of adware and one that you are likely to have come into contact with.

ADClick sounds like AdSense and this is no coincidence. In fact, ADClick is a similar tool for raising money based on ad impressions and clicks. The problem is that it doesn’t do this through a website but rather right on the user’s desktop. You’ll notice that windows now pop up in the bottom right of the screen showing all sorts of ads.

Just like other advertising networks, ADClick will now get paid each time you see or click on one of those ads. The difference is that you never agreed for that to be there and you’re not getting anything in return (as you are when you get to read a website for free in exchange for putting up with some ads on that page).

openPR tip: Likewise, ADClick is likely also an example of spyware. Chances are that it is collecting data about your internet habits and more, in order to sell back to advertisers. It might even be slowing down your computer.

You can tell it is malicious software because it doesn’t have an ‘uninstall’ option and won’t show up in your list of installed apps and software. For all these reasons then, you need to get rid of it and then ensure that it doesn’t come back again!

Keeping Your Computer Safe From Malware

ADCLick is adware and this is an example of malware. It is actually only one of many threats and irritations you are at risk of when browsing the web, so how do you keep yourself safe? Here are some tips that will help…

Browse Carefully

Most computer viruses come from the internet and there are a number of ways this can happen. One of the biggest culprits when it comes to filling your device with viruses is e-mail – and once a piece of malicious code manages to hack into your mail it will then proliferate itself by getting you to message everyone on your contacts list with it. 

As such then you need to be wary of any e-mails that don’t sound like your friends wrote it – even if they’re the senders. At the same time of course be suspicious of e-mails from unknown senders as these ones could just be malicious. In short make sure that you are general suspicious of all e-mails you don’t instantly recognize and make sure you don’t open up any attachments.

Likewise, some viruses can come from simply browsing the web, and generally this happens when you’re looking at sites that dubious to begin with. Avoid any site with too many pop ups or that’s giving away free downloads.

Other little tips can help you to avoid getting viruses while browsing too. For instance, you should make sure that you use a good browser – and some browsers will be more likely than others to protect your PC. At the same time, you can make sure to use the right devices and if you do need to surf a site that you don’t trust, then you might want to consider doing this with a phone or tablet device which are less prone to picking up viruses. ADClick in particular will not be installed on a smartphone. You could even use an older device this way.

Run the Right Software

Of course, your first line of defence when it comes to computer virus protection is just to have the best anti-virus software on your machine which will help to filter anything that comes through and that can eliminate threats once they’ve been identified. However just having the best computer virus protection software isn’t going to cut it – you also need to make sure that you keep it up to date by installing any updates as they come through (so that you have all the most recent virus definitions and don’t get infected by something your software hasn’t heard about yet) and that you run checks regularly to make sure that nothing slips through the net ...no pun intended.

The problem with malware such as ADClick, is that it isn’t technically a virus. This is a piece of software that might put your computer at risk, but there is a chance that you opted to have it installed and that you’re happy with it there. It isn’t technically doing anything wrong after all!

Likewise, you should also aim to keep your computer as up-to-date as possible in order to avoid security issues that could allow viruses and malware to sneak in under the radar. Often those updates – annoying though they can be – are there primarily to help you patch up known security issues.

How to Remove AdClick

With that in mind then, how do you remove AdClick?

There is actually software you can download that exists purely to remove AdClick, but ironically this can carry just as many threats and you are better off avoiding it. Instead then, try the following process:

  1. Hit CTRL+F and then search for ‘regedit.exe’. Click OK.
  2. Right click on HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\osTIP and then choose delete
  3. Do the same for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Schedule\TaskCache\Tree\osTip
  4. Now go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, find osmsg Value and delete
  5. Remove C:\ProgramData\WindowsMs and delete osmsg.exe
  6. Go to C:\Windows\System32\Tasks and delete osTip

It should now be gone!

How Did You Get AdClick? And How to Get Free Software Without Malware

They say that in life, nothing is free. As we well know though, that isn't strictly true - and particularly not on the web where you can actually get a ton of great free software.

The problem though is that sometimes this 'free software' actually comes at a hidden cost - that being the sanctity of your computer and of your personal information. The problem is that a lot of the sites that give away free software aren't all that reputable, and will often smuggle some unwanted software into the deal too.

Your job as a user is to try and get the free software without picking up nasty viruses on the way. It's a tricky job no doubt - but fortunately, I'm here to help you out.

openPR tip: The first thing to do before you download is to make sure that the software you're about to download is in fact legal and freeware/shareware. Just because a site is giving away a program for free, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's theirs to give away, and if they're giving away illegal software then chances are that they don't care too much about your welfare either. Apart from anything else, downloading stuff for free that isn't meant to be free just isn't nice - somebody put a lot of effort into that!

While you're scrutinising whether or not the site you're downloading from is legitimate, you may want to check out which adverts are on the page with the download. Adverts for 'dating' sites (you know what I mean or things that look like scams suggest that the webmaster is willing to sell out… which means they might well sell you out too.

If you're going to download that free software using torrents then you need to be even more careful. Torrents aren't just for pirate software and films, they actually offer a convenient way to download large files that's useful for freeware too. However you do still need to be careful and that means a) double checking that the software is free, b) reading the comments to make sure that no one else has been burned by the download already and c) using a torrent program that has a built-in virus scanner so that you can check files.

Another piece of advice is simply to ensure that your computer is up-to-date at all times and that you have all the latest anti-virus software. You can use this to scan your files individually, and at the same time it should give you a warning if you accidentally download anything that you shouldn't have.

Sometimes the files you don't want aren't specifically 'viruses' but are still a nuisance. Take those 'download managers' that often take the liberty of installing themselves on your computer for instance, or the many annoying IE toolbars that almost killed Microsoft's browser at one point.

 


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