Spyware and Adware


Spyware installs itself onto a user's computer by stealth, subterfuge and/or social engineering and sends information from that computer to a third party without the user's permission or knowledge. Spyware includes keyloggers, backdoor Trojans, password stealers, and botnet worms, which cause corporate data theft, financial loss and network damage. Protection from spyware is an integral feature of our integrated security solutions, and is detected in the same way as viruses, Trojans and worms. Sophos Anti-Virus is 100% Checkmark-certified for spyware detection.

Adware and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs)

Adware displays advertising—such as pop-up messages—which affects user productivity and system efficiency. Although many people view adware as undesirable, it is also a key component of a business model that can bring value to consumers in exchange for receiving advertisements.

PUA is a term used to describe an application that is not inherently malicious, but is generally considered unsuitable for the majority of business networks. Potentially unwanted applications include adware, dialers, remote administration tools and hacking tools.

Sophos Enduser Protection for Windows integrates the ability to block or selectively allow adware and other PUAs. There is no requirement for a separate client or license fee; it detects adware in the same way as viruses, spyware, Trojans and worms.

Sophos adware and PUA detection capabilities are superior to other leading security vendors because we are solely focused on protecting businesses. This enables us to provide business system administrators with the flexibility to authorize or remove applications they deem unsuitable for their business environment.


Customers can upgrade their existing Sophos Anti-Virus for Windows license to the latest version to detect and completely remove all malware, as well as highlight and optionally remove adware and other PUAs. Sophos Client Firewall offers an extra layer of protection for vulnerable computers by blocking worms and preventing intrusion.

Simple steps to defend against spyware and adware

In addition to using our software, you can also defend your network from spyware by following our best practice guide—a series of simple steps to defend against viruses, spyware, worms and adware.

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