What is PrintOnKey?
It's a type of software that is installed on your computer to show you adverts. Usually, these ads have labels Ads by PrintOnKey or Powered by PrintOnKey, etc. In the majority of cases, PrintOnKey adverts will be for a product or a service that you have recently been looking at online. How does the adware know what you've been browsing? Well that's because it has been designed to also track your user habits: it will monitor which websites you are looking at and the content on the pages within.
Is PrintOnKey adware the same as spyware?
If you're thinking that this sounds a little like that other intrusive malware known as spyware you would not be far wrong. Spyware also tracks your computer use but for even scarier reasons. It can still see which websites you visit but it has additional 'features' and can also monitor which keys you type. It then logs this information and sends it back to the programmer who can use it at their will. And when you take into consideration that we all type personal data such as passwords and credit card numbers into our computers, often several times a day it gets even more worrying.
Spyware is truly dangerous and because adware can weaken your security, as noted above, it means that you really should protect yourself from adware, even if you aren't worried about a third party tracking which websites you visit.
So how do you do that? Here are a few of the simple precautions you could, and should, take:
- Downloading an app or program? PrintOnKey adware is often bundled with free programs or peer to peer files. However it is normally mentioned in the small print. Therefore take the time to read this and make sure your configure boxes correctly as these may already be checked or unchecked so as to automatically install the adware.
- Never download files in emails from unknown senders.
- Install pop-up blockers and use a firewall.
- Close unknown pop-up windows by clicking the 'X' in the corner. Clicking 'Close' may trigger a further installation.
- Make sure you have a decent, up to date anti-malware program installed on your PC
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
PrintOnKey Ads 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 PrintOnKey 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:
- Active Discount
- 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 PrintOnKey related extensions from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove PrintOnKey, Active Discount, MediaPlayerV1, Gosave, 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 PrintOnKey related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove PrintOnKey, Active Discount, Gosave, MediaPlayerV1, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.
Remove PrintOnKey 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.