SharedFormat is an application with dubious benefits to users. The program is targeted specifically at Mac users. Upon further examination by cybersecurity researchers, it was determined that this software is adware belonging to the infamous AdLoad family. The primary function of this application is to display advertisements, and it is possible that it may have other intrusive functionalities.
Adware Like SharedFormat may Impact Devices Negatively
Adware is an application that is designed to display advertisements on a user's device. The term 'adware' comes from the fact that this software is typically supported by advertising revenue, meaning that the software developers are paid to display advertisements on users' devices.
Adware can display a range of different advertisements, including pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other intrusive advertisement types. These advertisements are typically placed on websites or other interfaces that the user interacts with.
While some of the advertisements displayed by adware may be legitimate, others are not. In fact, many of the advertisements promoted by adware are associated with online tactics, unreliable or harmful software and even malware. When a user clicks on one of these advertisements, it is possible that a script that initiates a download or installation of additional software without the user's consent may be executed.
However, any legitimate products or services promoted through adware are unlikely to be endorsed by their creators or developers. More often than not, these promotions are undertaken by fraudsters who abuse the content's affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
Advertising-supported software often collects sensitive data from users, and this also may be true of SharedFormat. The data that is collected may include browsing and search engine histories, usernames and passwords, personally identifiable information, credit card numbers and more. This data can be shared with or sold to third parties, which can compromise the user's privacy and security.
Users Rarely Install Adware Like SharedFormat Intentionally
The distribution of adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) often involves questionable methods that are designed to trick or deceive users into downloading and installing these programs without their knowledge or consent.
One common method used to distribute adware and PUPs is software bundling. This involves bundling the adware or PUP with other software that the user intends to download and install. The user may not know that the additional software is included in the bundle, and may unwittingly install the adware or PUP alongside the desired software.
Another method used to distribute adware and PUPs is misleading or deceptive advertising. This may involve displaying pop-ups or other advertisements that claim to offer a legitimate software update or another useful tool but in reality, lead to the download and installation of adware or PUPs.
In some cases, adware and PUPs also may be distributed through email spam campaigns or other forms of online advertising. These methods may involve sending out unsolicited emails or displaying advertisements that promote the adware or PUP as a useful tool, but in reality, these programs can compromise the user's privacy and security.
Regardless of the specific method used, the distribution of adware and PUPs often involves misleading or deceptive tactics that can compromise the user's device and privacy. Users should always be cautious when downloading and installing software from the Internet and should only download software from trusted sources. Additionally, users should always read the Terms and Conditions and be mindful of any checkboxes that may indicate additional software is included in the installation.