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Monday, October 27, 2014

Remove pop-ups (Virus Removal Guide)

Tell your friends: is a potentially dangerous website that may display misleading pop-up ads on your computer. The problem with those pop-ups is that most of them will suggest you to install programs that are very often detected as Adware.Downware.2519, not-a-virus:Downloader.Win32.Agent.bwfm, RDN/Generic PUP.z!eh and even a Trojan.ADH.2 by Symantec. (VirusTotal scan). I'm betting that you've heard of adware – after all, you're reading this article – but we're also willing to bet that you've been infected by it, whether you realize it or not. I know I certainly have! If you're worried that you might have adware that displays pop-ups on your computer or other device that connects to the Internet, hopefully I will be able to give you a few pointers on how to tell, how it got there, what it can do, how to avoid it in the future, and what to do about it now.

Explaining pop-ups

Adware that displays these pop up ads is computer software that displays adverts on your screen whenever you're connected to the Internet. These adverts are often geared towards products or services that you've recently viewed online. How this works is because the adware program, once downloaded, installs a component on your PC or device that monitors the websites that you visit, captures this data and sends it back to the software developer, thus allowing them to customize the adverts that are shown to you. These adverts can be pop-up or pop-under windows, banners, boxes or simply links to websites. Many people find these adverts annoying - but in reality they can have detrimental side affects too. However, ads may simply promote adware and potentually unwanted programs that will display even more ads on your computer. A good example of such programs would be the Open Download Manager which supposedly downloads videos faster. It might, who knows, I haven't tried it but what this pop-up ad totally forgets to mention is that it will also display ads on your computer.

You certainly do not want to install more sophisticated and aggressive adware on your computer because such adware can:
  • Hijack your browser, tool bar, home page or default search engine and redirect you to websites that the developer wants you to visit
  • Negatively interact with other programs installed on your machine which can cause issues with your operating system - which slows your CPU and Internet connection down
  • It may also affect operating and connection speeds due to your computer having to work harder than normal as the adware component is constantly sending data back to its developer
  • Create vulnerabilities in your PC or device's security by destabilizing it thanks to the issues it causes with other installed programs and your operating system
The good news is that it is easy to tell if you have adware that displays ads on your machine because adverts are pretty hard to ignore! The bad news is that the actual program and component are usually hidden so deeply that they can be tricky to find and remove.

How do I protect myself from ads?

There are a few things you can do to defend yourself against annoying ads:
  • Install a reputable anti-malware program on your PC. But don't just install it and forget about it: run it frequently and make sure it's kept up to date.
  • Install a firewall and turn on your pop up blockers.
  • Don't download anything from a third party website – adware is often bundled with freeware.
  • Read License Agreements carefully when downloading from the Internet as adware is overwhelmingly mentioned in the agreement and gives you the option of not installing. Most of us just don't bother to read it however!
Don't take the risk: stop pop-ups and remove adware that displays them from your computer. To do so, please follow the steps in the removal guide below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below. Good luck and be safe online!

Written by Michael Kaur, 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 pop-ups 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 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:
  • Quiknowledge
  • 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 pop-ups 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, Quiknowledge, 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 pop-ups 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, Quiknowledge, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

Remove pop-ups 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.