Talking to Your Kids About Adware and Spyware

Kids are on the Internet a lot. They use the Internet for school, for keeping in touch with friends all over the world, and for playing games. Because children use the Internet so often, it is very important for parents to take the time to talk to them about Internet features and Internet safety. This article will help parents discuss adware and spyware with their children.


It is important for a parent to begin talking to their child about Internet safety by explaining the specifics about adware and spyware and what exactly these features are and what their purpose is and what they do. Parents need to make children aware of the dangers on the Internet and what can possibly happen because of the hazardous features.

What is adware

Adware, also sometimes known as advertising-supported software, is any type of software packages that will automatically display, play, or download advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on the computer or during the time the application is being used.

The reason adware is used

Adware is used in software to detect what Internet sites a user of the software visits as well as to advertise specific goods and/or services that are featured on the sites that are visited by the user of specific software. Developers think of adware as a way to make up for development costs of the software. Sometimes, because of the use of adware, people can use the software at a reduced price or even for free. Revenue that comes from the adware advertisements may motivate the software developer to continue to maintain, develop, and upgrade their software products.

What is spyware

Spyware is a type of computer software that is sneakily installed on a person’s personal computer. Spyware is used to take some control over the computer user’s interactions with their computer. This is all done with out the consent of the owner of the computer.

What does spyware do

Spyware does more than monitor the computer user’s behavior; it can even collect a lot of personal information. This personal information includes, but is not limited to the person’s online surfing habits and the sites they tend to visit. Spyware can change computer settings, install additional software, redirect web browser activity, access websites that will permit dangerous viruses to get onto the computer, and slow connection speeds.

How to detect and prevent adware

There are programs available that have been developed to detect and remove adware and spyware. Such programs such as Spybot- Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware have been developed for this purpose. The programs will not detect viruses though.

How to detect and prevent spyware

There are many programs available that will help a person to take care of their spyware problem. These programs can block or remove spyware from a personal computer. PC Tools Spyware Doctor, DriveSentry, Trend Micro’s HijackThis, and Sunbelt Software’s Counterspy are a few spyware detection and/or removal programs available. Some of these cost money and some are free but have limited features.

It is also important to let children know that there are programs available which claim to detect or prevent spyware, but they are fake software programs. Parents need to tell children that they should never download something onto the computer without their parent’s permission. Parents need to take the time to make sure that the program is legitimate before installing it on their computer.

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Talking to Your Kids About Adware and Spyware." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 4 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published December 7, 2009. Last modified December 7, 2009.

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