If you are like me, you download many programs a day from many websites. Every website offers various products and it can be hard to tell what products are legit and what software is malicious. There are many times when you download a program that you MUST have later to find out that the program is a cesspool for spyware and adware.
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell which programs are legitimate until you download and install the program on your computer. Many times, spyware that is added onto your computer is approved by you. Many people blame developers and hackers for spyware and adware ads on their computer, however, at the end of the day you are to blame.
However, the best way to avoid spyware is to avoid "bad neighborhood" sites. If you absolutely are unsure about the software or the website, then do not download the program.
Here is a list of software that is known to have spyware embedded into the installation package:
As stated above, some software requires that you approve additional add-ons. Once you have approved additional software packages, you will essentially add the spyware based on your approval.
Some other software that has previously had spyware and malware embedded in it are AOL Messenger and DIVX.
Remember, your negligence towards protecting your computer is the reason why you have hundreds of unwanted pop-ups and adware. Stay away from bad neighborhood sites, carefully approve software installations and get the best spyware removers possible.