So just what is going on? Surely no one actually knows what websites you're looking at, do they? Well, yes, that is exactly what they are doing. Welcome to the slightly sinister world of adware.
What is "Ad by sponsor" adware?
Good question! Advertising Supported Software, or to make this simpler, adware as it is more often referred to, is a type of software that has the capability of either downloading or displaying adverts on your computer whenever you happen to be connected to the Internet. That Sponsor advert for the bargain flight to Los Angeles might show up as a simple box in the corner of your screen – almost like a traditional printed media advert, while ads for that new lounge furniture you so desperately want could be almost taking over your screen. It all depends on how the programmer of that particular adware program designs their ads.
But that leads us on to the most intriguing – and potentially worrying - aspect of adware. How on earth does it – or its programmer – know that you're thinking about splashing out on a trip to the West Coast or that your home furnishings have, frankly, seen better days? The sixty billion dollar question is:
How does Sponsor adware know what adverts to show me?
Let's start from the beginning. Normally adware gets onto your computer when it is bundled with another software program, an app, or a peer-to-peer file download. Most of these things are free and the adware is a way for the programmer of the app (or the owner of the shareware) to recoup some of the costs they incurred by developing – or sharing – something and then making it available on the internet for anyone to use or enjoy.
So when you see adware for what it is – a money spinner – it makes sense that the programmers want to get as much bang for their buck out of it. That's why they tailor the "Ad by sponsor" adverts to be more attractive to you – so that you'll potentially click on them (thus earning the programmer money for clicks throughs). And they do this by including a component in the adware that monitors what you are looking at on the Internet. It collects data on which products or services you look at and sends it back to the programmer who can then choose which adverts you see. It's not magic; it's just slightly creepy.
How to get rid of Sponsor ads?
To remove this adware from your computer and stop sponsor ads, 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
"Ad by sponsor" 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 Sponsor 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 Sponsor related extensions from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove Sponsor, Winsec, 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.
3. Then select Settings. Scroll down the page and click Show advanced settings.
4. Find the Reset browser settings section and click Reset browser settings button.
5. In the dialog that appears, click Reset. That's it!
Remove Sponsor related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove Sponsor, Winsec, Gosave, MediaPlayerV1, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.
Remove Sponsor 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.