Difference Between Adware and Malvertising

Whenever we install new software or an app on our computer, we should be careful and install them from a legitimate site. Malware viruses can enter from any site. The two most common malware-type viruses are Adware and Malvertising. They will enter your computer without your consent even though you download software from a legitimate site.

Adware vs Malvertising

The main difference between Adware and Malvertising is adware already exists on your computer because of the software that you have downloaded in the past. Malvertising is a way of using legitimate sites for attacking them with malware. The two common examples of adware are firewall and Appearch. Whereas the two common examples of malvertising are RoughTed and Angler exploit kit. 

Adware and Malvertising

Adware is a term used for describing unwanted software advertisements that are displayed on your device. Its virus is called PUP, which is nothing but a potentially unwanted program. This is a program that is installed without getting any permission from the user. It comes under the type of malware. It is a very pesky nuisance that often poses a threat to your cybersecurity

Malvertising is injecting malware into legitimate online advertising sites. They have a code that typically redirects users’ malicious websites. It installs viruses and other malicious software on your computer. This will be used by hackers to track your passwords keystrokes, and in some cases, they can take over your computer. This is one of the new techniques followed by hackers nowadays for extracting people’s information. 

Comparison Table Between Adware and Malvertising

Parameters of ComparisonAdwareMalvertising
DefinitionIt is the process of installing unnecessary software while you download some new software.It is the process of injecting malware content into a legitimate website.
ExampleFirewall and AppearchRoughTed and Angler exploit kit
TypesSpytrooper and DeskadVideo and animated ads
Getting ridAntivirus and antivirus malicious toolsUsing ad-block and disabling browser plugins

What is Adware?

Adware‘s developers call it advertising-supported software. It automatically generates online advertisements in the user interface. Whenever a screen is presented during an installation process, users will see advertisements on their screen. If the adware authors sell your browsing information to third parties, they can use that to target you with more ads that are customized to your viewing habits. It will harm your device by slowing it down.

It will hijack your browser by installing viruses or spyware. Without your knowledge, it will install some other apps while you install any new software. It is considered illegal if any third-party apps add malicious software to your device without having your consent. Adware is mainly used for collecting information about you so that they can showcase advertisements and make advertising dollars. Malicious adware can hijack your passwords, contacts, credit card info, and browsing history. 

To protect yourself from adware, you need to use antivirus and antivirus malicious tools. Read the license, terms, and conditions agreement before you accept anything. Always download software from reliable sources. Use a reputable adblocker. Avoid shareware and freeware. It will generate income for its creator by displaying an excessive number of unnecessary ads. One of the best ways to remove adware is by removing the software that displays it. 

What is Malvertising?

It is the practice of incorporating malware in advertisements that are posted online. Clickjacking is one of the well-known methods of malvertising. According to cybersecurity, it is relatively a new technique by injecting malicious code in digital ads. These are very difficult to detect, so they are served to consumers even on legitimate sites. To get rid of malvertising, one should install strong antivirus software on their computer.

Using an ad blocker on their web browser, keeping their operating system updated, using a safe and secure browser, disabling browser plug-ins, downloading content only from legitimate sources. These techniques will help users to get rid of malvertising. Some of the risks of clicking these malicious ads are hackers will nab your financial information, and your computer will get infected. Malvertising can also happen even if you don’t click on any ads.

It has a version called drive-by downloads, where it will infect your computer as soon as the infection page starts loading. For this process to start, users need not click anywhere. The two most common examples of malvertising are redirection and malware. Cybercriminals will launch this malware into legitimate sites by believing that you will click these ads and let them load. So, that they can infect your computer. This will be done before you identify the malware and try to remove it. 

Main Differences Between Adware and Malvertising

  1. The definition of Adware is it is a process where unnecessary software will be installed when you install any new software. On the other hand, the definition of malvertising is the process of injecting malicious content into legitimate sites.
  2. Examples of adware are Firewall and Appearch. On the other hand, the examples of malvertising are RoughTed and Angler Exploit Kit.
  3. The two common types of adware are Spytrooper and Deskad. On the other hand, the two common types of malvertising are video and animated ads.
  4. To get rid of adware, people should have installed antivirus and antivirus malware tools. On the other hand, to get rid of malvertising, people should use ad-block and disable browser plug-ins.
  5. Adware first came in the year 1995. On the other hand, malvertising first came in the year 2008. 


Both adware and malvertising are not good for your computer. They are used by cybercriminals to steal your bank info, and in some worst cases, they will even take over your computer. Many people confuse adware with malvertising. But adware will exist in your computer even before some other viruses attack it. Because when you download any new software from a third-party site, it will start to download on its own without your knowledge.

Malvertising is not like that because it will be injected into legitimate sites. This is an idea used by hackers because people will trust the advertisements on the legitimate site and click them. This helps them to know about your liking in advertisements better. 


  1. https://www.usenix.org/events/hotbots07/tech/full_papers/provos/provos.pdf?=
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7166115/
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