(With due apologies to Calvin!)
Scumware is software that is installed on your machine, generally without your consent, by a lot of software these days. This particularly despicable strain of software pops up banner adds on sites that do not have any, steals browser URLs to drive up affiliate marketing scores, puts ugly green and yellow lines under words on a web page (extra hyperlinks that take you to their affiliate sites), messes with search engine results, eats up your bandwidth, etc.
You are particularly likely to be affected if you are a regular user of Internet Explorer on Windows (i.e. 90% of the web surfing population) and keep downloading “neat” utilities like music players, file “sharing” clients, download managers, etc.
Examples of particularly widespread scumware include Gator, eZula, Cydoor, Aureate, etc. Beware!
One of the best utilities to help you get rid of these pests is Ad-Aware. Get it today and find out if your machine is also infested with this menace (very likely). Some of the programs might complain or even stop working if their pet scumware is removed - just get an alternative utility that does not. Do not forget to keep your Ad-Aware up to date by downloading the latest “reference file” (similar to updating an antivirus utility with the latest virus signatures).