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Sunday, January 26, 2014

What is PUP.Optional.Babylon.A and how to remove it?

Tell your friends:
PUP.Optional.Babylon.A is a detection for malware that installs Babylon search and toolbar on infected computers. This browser hijacker is otherwise know and PUP. If you've recently spotted programs on your PC that you have no recollection of installing then you may have been bitten by a PUP. And no, we're not talking about the cute and furry kind; we're talking about PUPs – Potentially Unwanted Programs.

But how does a PUP you have never seen before suddenly appear on your computer – especially if you're the only one using it? PUP.Optional.Babylon.A install itself in a number of ways; sometimes via 'drive-by' installations (when a website you've visited has been infected and passed a PUP on to you) but most commonly when you've downloaded some software that you do want and it has a Babylon PUP bundled in with it.

This PUP might have been sitting on your PC for weeks and you haven't noticed it until now, or it may be glaringly obvious. For example some PUPs even install their own desktop shortcut icons. Now that’s just rude!

The good news is it's pretty easy to check for a PUP. If you're using Windows 7 go to the Control Panel, choose 'Programs' and then 'Uninstall or Change a Program'. Programs that you've installed should be registered with the Windows Add/Remove Programs function and you will see those listed here along with the name of their publisher and the installation date. If you see something you don't recognize you should be able to uninstall it here.

You may have actually been asked if you wanted to install PUP.Optional.Babylon.A but it the question was posed in such a way that you didn't even notice. For example, you're downloading something you do want, a genuine product such as Adobe or Firefox for example, and unknown to these companies a third party may have hidden their own program in the installation as part of a bundle. Simply not checking, or not un-checking, a box in the End User License Agreement may be the cause for your Potentially Unwanted Program. Remember, it's very important to download programs from either official websites or trusted download sites. I'm sure you are aware of fake Flash Player update scams and similar unethical practices that are used to trick users into installing PUPs, adware and spyware. By the way, this is the reason why you should not only uninstall potentially dangerous programs from your computer but also run a full system scan with recommend anti-malware software.

In the other method, the PUP.Optional.Babylon.A may be actually hidden. So, you click on the installation that you do want but unknown to you, you also get a 'bonus' program, such as the annoying Babylon toolbar. The trick here is to make sure you click on the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation buttons as these will normally let you then un-check any programs that are being foisted onto you along with your desired software or program download.

Your best bet if you want to avoid the annoyance of Potentially Unwanted Programs is to be careful when downloading software, no matter how reputable. Read End User License Agreements carefully and uncheck any boxes that you're not sure about. When it comes to the battle against the PUPs vigilance is key if you want to avoid the hassle.

Written by Michael Kaur,

PUP.Optional.Babylon.A removal instructions:

1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this malware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.

2. Remove potentially unwanted extensions from your web browser.

Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to ToolsExtensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon and remove the extensions that might be causing Chitka pop ups. Basically, remove all extensions that you didn't install. It's perfectly OK to remove all extensions since by default Google Chrome comes without any extensions.

Mozilla Firefox:
1. Go to ToolsAdd-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Remove all extensions that you didn't install. Please note, by default Firefox comes without any extensions.

Internet Explorer:
1. Go to ToolsManage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.
2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Remove all add-ons that you didn't install or you believe may cause those annoying pop-ups to show up.

3. Download CCleaner and tidy up your computer, remove temp files, etc.