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Thursday, March 20, 2014

SelectNGo Ads Removal Guide

Tell your friends:
If you've recently found a mystery web browser extension or strange SelectNGo ads on your computer it's probably safe to say that you've been bitten by a PUP. A what? A PUP: otherwise known as a Potentially Unwanted Program. Some anti-virus engines may detect it as an adware but most AV programs will flag it as a PUP. If you've heard of PUPs before you may know that they're installed as a bundle that has been sneakily packaged with a program that you do actually want to download.

Here's an example of an advertisement you may see when your computer is infected with this adware/PUP. As you can see, it double underlines certain words on a web page and when you hover over them you are presented with "Ads by SelectNGo". Sometimes such ads can be very irrelevant and redirect users to dubious websites.

No matter how reputable the program you download is, it can still be an unwitting victim of a PUP. As an example, Adobe and Oracle have both been past victims of PUP bundling. Publishers are obviously aware of such fake Flash Player update sites but they can't really block all of them since scammers use create hundreds of them each day.

So what do you do if you want/need some software and you trust the publishers but you don't want to run the risk of installing SelectNGo adware? One action you can take is to make sure that you are downloading software from the official website. Sites like Cnet are trustworthy but unfortunately most of them use their own installers bundled with "offers", please read the full story here. You can also use a piece of software which stops the program from making any alterations to your computer. It tells you what actions the program you're downloading wants to take and then gives you the choice of either transferring the program from the sandbox and onto your machine or choosing to forget the installation altogether. You may think it's a waste of time but trust me even the most popular programs are nowadays bundled with adware, browser hijackers and PUPs.

You should also take extra precautions by installing the latest security patches from Microsoft as these are an excellent defense against malicious software that has been installed by a 'drive by' installation. And it also goes without saying that you should make sure that you have the latest versions of, and updates from, any other software companies that you may come into contact with. It's often not just Microsoft that us PC users are using on our Windows based computers but software from other companies such as Apple (iTunes), Adobe (Dreamweaver, Flash etc) and Oracle (Java).

Luckily SelectNGo ads pretty easy to take care of and you can usually deal with them via your Windows 'remove' or 'uninstall' options. However, some variants of this adware/PUP are bundled with other programs and may not be even listed on your computer. What is more, this PUP may download and install more dubious programs on your computer. That's why sownloading a top flight anti-malware program is also an excellent idea. It will detect SelectNGo adware and any related programs that may be causing other problems on your computer. For example, very often adware programs have spyware modules and may spy on you while you surf the web. If you don't have a reputable ant-malware program on your PC then you're really asking for trouble. Download one and run a scan. Many run-of-the-mill antiviruses don't pick up PUPs but a top of the range one will. This is because if the Potentially Unwanted Program has created a shortcut on your desktop some antiviruses think it's been downloaded on purpose and that you actually want it. To remove SelectNGo ads and associated adware files from your computer, please follow the steps in the removal guide below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Good luck and be safe online!

By the way, PUPs are not normally malicious but they can be annoying and they can leave you vulnerable to more serious attacks. Read End User License Agreements carefully when downloading and uncheck boxes for add-ons and you'll stand a far better chance of staying PUP free!

Written by Michael Kaur,

SelectNGo Ads removal instructions:

1. First of all, download recommended 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 infection. Hopefully you won't have to do that.

2. Remove SelectNGo program from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).

Go to the Start Menu. Select Control PanelAdd/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control PanelUninstall a Program.

If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".

Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.

3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
  • SelectNGo
  • LyricsSay-1
  • Websteroids
  • BlocckkTheAds
  • HD-Plus 3.5
  • and any other recently installed application

Simply select each application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.

Remove SelectNGo related extensions from Google Chrome:

1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to ToolsExtensions.

2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove BlocckkTheAds, LyricsSay-1, Websteroids, SelectNGo, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

If the removal option is grayed out then read how to remove extensions installed by enterprise policy.

Remove SelectNGo related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to ToolsAdd-ons.

2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove BlocckkTheAds, LyricsSay-1, Websteroids, SelectNGo, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

Remove SelectNGo related add-ons from Internet Explorer:

1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to ToolsManage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.

2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Click Remove/Disable button to remove the browser add-ons listed above.

Associated SelectNGo adware Files:
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\SelectNGo\
  • C:\Windows\Tasks\SelectNGo Update.job
Associated SelectNGo adware Windows Registry Information:
  • HKCU\Software\AppDataLow\Software\SelectNGo