A Guide to Grayware

Is it the first time you heard about Grayware? It is a less known term, though there are lots of Grayware causing significant damage to user’s data and privacy. I am not talking about ancient Greek pottery Grayware. It is related to computer security. Keep reading to know more about it.

What is Grayware?

Grayware is malicious computer software. It is not as harmful as a virus or malware; it cannot be said a clean software also. It lies in between black and white area. Thus, its name is Gray-ware.

Grayware usually refers to a Potentially Unwanted Software (PUP). It enters in your computer hijacking the settings making hard to remove. You didn’t want to install this software; still, it is there. The symptoms of Grayware is not as intimidating as a virus. Still, it destroys your computer using experience.

For example, a Grayware will keep displaying the pop-up ad after a few seconds, you can close this pop-up, but it makes your life annoying. Grayware can also inject ad spots on your search result page, or it also can redirect you to some other website while you are reading your favourite blog.

If you are thinking besides irritating you it does not do further damage; then you are wrong. It makes your PC vulnerable; other harmful malware can take advantage and enter in your computer with the help of this security flaw.

Types of Grayware

Two broad categories describe Grayware, Adware and Spyware.


The primary purpose of adware is to display ads on your computer and generate revenue for its makers. It observes your choices and display targeted ads so that you click on it. It can track your online activity and may or may not report to its makers.

Usually, an adware display pop-up ads, inject ad spots on search results and redirects to ad web pages. It will make your browser and computer slow.


Spyware’s task is to track your browsing activity and then send to its makers. The makers of this nasty software collect this information and then sold it to third-party clients, who can use it for marketing purpose or some online fraud activities.

Spyware can record the search query, browsing history, Location, OS & browser type, credit or banking login details, and some hardware information. It doesn’t ask for your permission to record this information neither it seeks permission to enter into your computer. It stays hidden so that you cannot identify it.

A Grayware can be an Adware or Spyware, or it can be both. Cybercriminals can combine both to display ads on your computer as well as tracking your personal information.

Mobile Adware (Madware)

Adware is not limited to personal computers. With the advanced mobile platform, adware is also targeting mobile devices. Mobile adware is called M-adware. This kind of software is usually the free apps which mainly rely on the ads for revenue.

Madware can display pop-up ads on your screen; it can post ads in the notification area. It can also track your device location, your phone number and contacts. It can send these details to its makers.

What Harms do this Grayware?

The damages of virus and malware are visible, but you cannot be sure how much damage Grayware does. Below are the possible damages a Grayware can do –

  • Slow and irritating computer experience
  • It records your personal information like web pages you visit and search terms to use.
  • It tracks your confidential information like credit card details or bank login details.
  • Crosshairs Make you click on ads of malicious products
  • Crosshairs Can lead you to a webpage infected with severe threats.
  • Crosshairs Can steal the login details of social networking sites and your emails.
  • Crosshairs All this information can be used for other frauds like identity theft.

How to Stay Away from Grayware?

To stay away from Grayware you need to remain very cautious. Follow below guidelines carefully-

  • Follow safe browsing habits; don’t click on random links on the internet.
  • Do not click on the links in the spam emails and never download the attachment from an unknown sender. Same goes for social media accounts messages.
  • Download only reputable software. Never download pirated software. If you have to download free software, then visit the official website and check its review before installing.
  • Check Circle Observe the installation steps. Do not click on Express Installation method, choose custom installation and read the terms and condition page carefully. De-select any other recommended software or feature.
  • Check Circle Check the ratings and user comments before installing an app on your smartphone. Don’t install apps from third-party websites. Check the permissions of the apps before installing them.
  • Check Circle Download a strong antimalware like MalwareFox. Update it regularly and schedule a scan. Keep its Real-Time scan feature -on, so that it can stop such threats from executing.
  • Check Circle Never miss a security update to your operating system and other software.


Grayware might not be harmful as malware, but its effects are long-lasting. The more time it spends on your computer more vulnerable it makes you. You might not be aware of the infection. So, install a security tool capable of detecting and removing such cunning software. Antivirus is not enough. It checks for viruses and malware and leaves your Gray area unprotected. You need to install a security suite that works alongside antivirus and provide you protection from Grayware. MalwareFox antimalware is such a tool. It doesn’t conflict with antivirus and provides security against adware, spyware, keylogger, ransomware, rootkits, Trojans, and even zero-day malware.

Leave a Comment