Here's an example of an advertisement displayed by the NetCrawl adware. Ads are usually labeled as Ads by NetCrawl.
The Internet is positively riddled with programs that have been specifically designed to do you harm, cause you distress, hijack your PC, empty your bank account, assume your identity, and sometimes just drive you plain nuts. Most of these programs – termed malware, which is short for malicious software - come bundled with free, or even paid for, software. And NetCrawl is no different. Adware, or Advertising Supported Software, is an annoying and potentially dangerous form of malware that inundates your computer screen with pop-up windows and banner adverts.
Adware and spyware are often talked about in conjunction with each other and this is because adware employs certain spy-like tactics. NetCrawl monitors your computer usage and records which websites you visit, subsequently sending this data back to its developer. This allows them to then show you targeted adverts based on your browsing history.
So what exactly is adware?In the broadest terms, adware is a program which displays pop-up or banner adverts to you when you're connected to the Internet. It does this by installing an added component on your computer when you install the software that it is bundled with. This component is responsible for showing you the adverts and in some instances can install a new toolbar in your browser.
Apart from the annoyance of endless adverts, some adware hijacks your browser or your search engine page so that it can redirect you to websites of the developer's choosing. So, not only do you have to contend with constantly clicking to get rid of pop-up windows, you might also find your computer is running slowly or crashing frequently – this is because the component that displays the NetCrawl ads can interact with other programs on your machine and cause operating issues.
And what exactly is spyware?Spyware is a type of malware that monitors your computer and Internet use – without your knowledge. As seen, adware deploys spyware methods to enable its developers to target their adverts to you, but some spyware takes this one step further by using something called a keylogger which will record which keys you press and even take screenshots. This data is normally sent to an unscrupulous third party who will be able to discern your passwords, user IDs, online banking details, credit card numbers and other extremely private information. The good news is that NetCrawl is not a typical spyware and it can not steal your personal information, passwords and credit card numbers. It simply gathers information about your browsing habits, visited websites and searched terms.
Having said that, the NetCrawl is not quite as harmful although it's still definitely an invader of your privacy. As with the tactics used by adware, spyware not only records which websites you've visited but can also see which adverts you clicked upon as well as monitoring the amount of time you spent on certain websites.
How to protect yourselfWe all love us some free software but if you're spending the majority of your online life closing pop-up windows, battling a sluggishly running system and worrying if your security is being compromised, suddenly it doesn't seem that much of a bargain. The answer? Read License Agreements and Terms and Conditions carefully when you're downloading software and make sure you're not also installing any unwanted extras in conjunction with them.
If you have questions, please leave a comment down below. I will be more than happy to help you. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
NetCrawl Removal Guide: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 NetCrawl related programs 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 Panel → Add/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control Panel → Uninstall 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:
- 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 NetCrawl related extensions from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove NetCrawl, LyricsSay-1, MediaPlayerV1, 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 NetCrawl related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove NetCrawl, LyricsSay-1, MediaPlayerV1, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.
Remove NetCrawl related add-ons from Internet Explorer:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to Tools → Manage 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.