Not taking adequate steps to protect yourself and being lax when it comes to cyber security and personal online safety can leave you open to any number of distressing and downright devastating issues. Not playing it safe could lead to you having your files corrupted or even your Mac taken over an used as a portal to spread more malware.
In this article we will take a look at FlashMall adware; just one of the potential threats that can cause you a number of problems. Usually shortened to the abbreviation adware, while many people do not see this malware as serious as some of the other types, it can still cause a number of issues for you.
What is FlashMall?
You've seen the numerous adverts that appear whenever you're connected to the internet; that's adware. And you may have also noticed that many of these adverts are strangely relevant to your interests – in fact some of them may be for products or services or from websites that you've recently been looking at. But how does this adware know what you've been browsing? This is where spyware comes in to play.
Although adware and spyware are not strictly speaking the same type of malware, adware does display some spyware like tactics, one of which is the fact that it spies upon you and records which websites you have visited and the items that you are looking at on the site. It sends this data back to the programmer (using your internet connection!) who is then able to tailor the FlashMall adverts you see to make them more attractive to you.
How does FlashMall install itself on my computer?
It is usually installed at the same time as you download some other program. It will have been pre-bundled with the program, thus installing itself in conjunction with the software or file that you do actually want. For the most part adware is packaged with freeware and shareware – music files, TV shows, and movies are hot contenders as adware carriers.
How to avoid downloading adware
Now you know how FlashMall, and its spyware component, are downloaded you are better equipped to avoid an infection. Naturally installing a reputable anti-adware program is one precaution to take but so too should you be careful when you're downloading programs or files. This adware is usually mentioned in License Agreements so don't just click through them in order to download your file ASAP but take a moment to read them properly and make sure you say no if it's advising you that something else will be installed too.
If your computer is already infected and you don't know how to stop ads by FlashMall, 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, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
FlashMall Ads Removal Guide:
1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this adware from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this adware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.
2. Close Safari. In the Finder, select Go → Go to Folder.... Copy and paste this line: ~/Library/LaunchAgents and click Go.
3. A folder named LaunchAgents will open. Inside the folder find and move any that you have to the Trash. Then close the Finder window.
4. Do as in Step 2 with this line: ~/Library/Application Support
Inside it there will be a subfolder with this name: webHelperApp. Move it to the Trash.
5. Finally, open this folder in the same way as above: ~/Library
Look for a subfolder with this name: WebTools and move it to the Trash, if present. Finally, empty the Trash. That's it!