Adware is often spoken of in the same breath as spyware and although they are closely related they do have certain intrinsic differences. Whilst both are types of malware – or malicious software - adware is, in the majority of cases, not as nasty as spyware. Having said that, you probably don't want Meteoroids on your machine and if you have been infected by it, you really should remove it as quickly as possible. Therefore it goes without saying that you should do all you can to defend yourself against it as well.
The difference between adware and spyware
Both adware and spyware monitor your browsing habits and watch what you're doing and which sites you're visiting when you're online. However they do this for rather different reasons.
Meteoroids is interested in what you're looking at because the developers want to be able to customize the adverts that they display on your PC to your tastes and interests. This obviously ups the chance of you clicking on them and spending some money. It's annoying as hell, especially pop-up ads and highlighted words in web pages, but those ads are not malicious. Please note that they can redirect you to misleading websites or services, so better do not click them.
Meteoroids is used to recoup the money spent developing freeware or shareware downloads and software that are available on the Internet for you to use for free. As a matter of fact, you probably got it after installing some kind of freeware program on your computer. Most if the time, this adware comes bundled with freeware.
Spyware, however, monitors what you are doing for less innocuous reasons. Spyware often includes a component called a keylogger which tracks and records which keys you are pressing, subsequently using this data to the develope's own end. Naturally this is cause for concern as the keys you hit will include confidential information including bank details, passwords and log in details.
Issues with adware
Apart from the fact it monitors you, the problem with Meteoroids, is that it can be extremely annoying. After all, if you're in the middle of working, booking a holiday or trying to download your favorite TV show the last thing you want to do is to keep clicking to get rid of endless pop-up windows. But this aside, adware will also adversely affect the performance of your PC, causing it to run far slower than before. It will cause your Internet to slow right down and make websites take ages to load, or crash. The reason for this is your machine now has the adware component running on it and is also using your Internet connection to send the data its collected about you back to its server.
How does Meteoroids get on your PC?
As mentioned it is often bundled with freeware and shareware and whilst there are plenty of useful free programs out there it is well worth your while deciding how badly you really want them. If you definitely do need a freebie, check the License Agreement carefully as legitimate adware will be mentioned somewhere in the small print. You can then uncheck the box to say you don't want to also download the adware, or click away from the program. Unfortunately spyware isn't so forthcoming and won't be mentioned. But that is a whole other story and we'll save that for another time.
To remove this adware from your computer, please follow the steps in the removal guide below. If you have questions, please leave a comment down below. I will be more than happy to help you. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
Meteoroids Removal Guide:
1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this malware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.
2. Remove Meteoroids related programs from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).
Go to the Start Menu. Select Control Panel → Add/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control Panel → Uninstall a Program.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".
Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.
3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
- and any other recently installed application
Simply select each application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.
Remove Meteoroids related extensions from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove Meteoroids, LyricsSay-1, MediaPlayerV1, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.
If the removal option is grayed out then read how to remove extensions installed by enterprise policy.
Remove Meteoroids related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove Meteoroids, LyricsSay-1, MediaPlayerV1, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.
Remove Meteoroids related add-ons from Internet Explorer:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to Tools → Manage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.
2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Click Remove/Disable button to remove the browser add-ons listed above.