Nobody wants malware on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad, right? After all, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware are considered part of malware, and none of that can be good for a user.
Wait. Adware? Really? Let’s see if we can find a definition for malware.
Malware, short for malicious software, is a kind of software that can be installed on a computer without approval from the computer’s owner.
Regardless of what it does, if you don’t want the software on your device– or, you didn’t authorize the installation– then it should be considered malware. Why?
There are different kinds of malware that can hurt computers, such as viruses and Trojan horses.
Been there, done that. Mac, iPhone, and iPad don’t have much in the way of industry standard viruses, spyware, and Trojan horse, but your device can be harmed in other ways.
The term also includes other intentionally harmful programs, such as spyware and ransomware.
Ransomware is software that hijacks your device and won’t let you back in until you pay a, well, ransom.
These programs can steal passwords, delete files, collect personal information, or even stop a computer from working at all.
Again, Macs, iPhone, and iPad have very little malware relative to the Windows PC world and Android smartphones.
The term “malware” only refers to software that is made for malicious purposes and works against users’ expectations — and so does not include applications that may do unintended harm due to some deficiency.
Now, let’s back up to adware.
Are online ads considered malicious software? Adware has a variety of definitions but I like this one:
Adware is an advertising computer program that can be put there by other people on someone’s computer, sometimes without their permission. It is controversial because sometimes businesses put the program there so they can see what people are doing or what web pages they are browsing. They then put an advertisement that is of the same subject as the web-page the person is looking at.
In essence, online advertising– whether the kind you view within a website’s webpage, or within an application that funds its existence with advertising– can be considered malicious because the overall intent is to persuade and manipulate.
Hey, that’s what advertising is all about, right? Persuade. Manipulate. Change views and perspectives on a product or competitor. In the past– with TV, radio, newspaper, and magazine ads– we didn’t think much about the consequences. Besides, advertising is a necessity in business– it pays the freight and keeps the world’s economics on track.
Online advertising is more perverse because, as the definition above notes– user information is gathered by advertisers, including Google, Facebook, and many other online ad makers– and then used against those same users to persuade and manipulate, but to a far more effective level.
Yes, online ads can be considered malware.
The Villagers websites have advertising. Ads make the world go around. But our basic policy is to keep viewer’s information private, so no tracking is allowed. Not ad trackers, not data trackers, not even cookies.
We believe advertising repetition works and our method helps to keep the malware intent to a minimum.