Microsoft cracks down on adware

Microsoft has toughened its criteria for classifying programs as adware and gave developers three months to conform with the new principles or risk having their programs blocked by the company’s security products. The most important change in Microsoft’s policy is that adware programs will be blocked by default starting July 1. In the past such programs were allowed to run until users chose one of the recommended actions offered by the company’s security software.

Microsoft today announced a change to how it handles adware, a form of malware that pushes unwanted advertisements to the user. As of July 1, the company’s security products will immediately stop any adware they detect and notify the user, who can then restore the program if they wish. Currently, when any of Microsoft’s security products (including Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront) detects a program as adware, it will alert the user and offer them a recommended action. If the user doesn’t do anything, the security product will let the program continue to run until the user makes a decision.

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