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Ultimate Protection Against Adware

protection against adware
Ultimate Protection Against Adware

Ultimate Protection Against Adware: Removal Tools and Built-in Options

This is our next story about how to stay safe online. If you’ve read Ultimate Protection Against Malware, you already know about viruses, trojans and malware; and why it’s so important to keep certain antivirus options on. But, this is not the only crap software that can damage your system, Windows or OS X alike. (Yes, Macs are susceptible to this kind of malware now as well.)

Adware stands for advertising-supported software that redirects you to sponsored advertising sites, cripple your searches and annoy you with pop-up ad windows. This program cannot be detected by a user, as it features no icon in the tray or on the desktop, and the browser’s odd behavior is the only way to spot its presence. Which is why adware cannot be uninstalled and deleted via the system interface. No, changing browsers or rebooting won’t help either.

Once upon a time, there were adwares which infested only one or two of the most popular browsers, like Internet Explorer or Opera. But nowadays, hackers never forget to list all the browsers known to users, including the Chrome-like, Comodo. Again, changing browsers is like sweeping dust under the carpet. The running adware slows down the system, causes various lags and more often than not, collects info about the sites you visit.

From a legal point of view, distributing adware is not actually a crime. Moreover, some laptop manufacturers have been caught installing adware into their products from the box. For example, Lenovo was busted installing the Superfish adware into their laptops a couple of years ago. The enraged Lenovo community made the company stop the practice and issue a patch to eliminate the adware. And it’s not just an ethical issue, it’s a technical one.

The system with the adware inside is a compromised system. It’s like having a house with the back door that never closes. And the problem was, not every antivirus could fix it. Recently, only the most advanced and popular anti-adware and removal tools like Malware Bytes were able to.

Even if you don’t have any of these tools currently on your computer, you can always try a free demo and see how it sits with your system. We would recommend to be very wary of any third-party removal, stand-alone tools that were hyped up in the wake of the WannaCry attack. Many of them are rouge tools. You download the free version, scan your computer and are given a long list of alleged adware programs. To remove them, you have to pay for the full version. The thing the program doesn’t tell you, is that most of files it pulls up are harmless cookie files.Losing money and staying with an infested computer is one thing, but getting a serious trojan or a super adware to top those you already have, is another. The fake removal tools can turn out to be malicious themselves and you can cripple your system instead of curing it. The owners of the site you downloaded the rouge software from, get paid for every successful download. They don’t care what will happen to someone’s computer after that.

Can you protect yourself from downloading the adware in the first place to save time, money and nerves? Sure! You have to do two things to achieve it: to control your downloads entirely and to keep your system updated. Both Windows and OS X feature built-in options for checking on available downloads. It’s Firewall and Windows Defender for Windows, and XProtect and Gatekeeper for OS X.

For the same reasons that were specified in the first article, it’s very important to keep these tools updated. Windows Defender can stand for a full-scale antivirus software if you haven’t bought any already. It can be updated separately from the entire Windows OS, while on Mac you have to update the OS to get latest updates for XProtect. Unlike its Microsoft counterpart, XProtect is part of File Quarantine and hard to notice. It’s seen only when you download a file from Web.

google chrome gate - Ultimate Protection Against Adware

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ximg_55528e0ecf655.png.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+ws+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.Jr-xZJLaGH.jpg

You can also tweak the downloads options and check the files types you want to download. For that you’ll need Gatekeeper.

file vault - Ultimate Protection Against Adware

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ximg_55528d1bce9f8.png.pagespeed.gp+jp+jw+pj+ws+js+rj+rp+rw+ri+cp+md.ic.8DJJV4TUY4.png

There are three options as you can see: App Store, App Store and identified partners and Anywhere. The last option is the most dangerous of all. We recommend to stick to App Store and identified partners.

With Windows it’s trickier. Microsoft’s first line of defense is the Windows Firewall turned on in Settings. Firewalls are used in buildings to block the fire expansion. They are literally brick walls installed on the roofs. The computer’s firewall though is more like a mesh screen to sift the traffic through. The mesh size you set as you like by listing the allowed programs. You can find detailed manuals on Microsoft Support page. We just mention that it’s wise to always keep the firewall turned on if it doesn’t conflict with your antivirus.

Here’s where tricky part comes in. The firewall can conflict with your antivirus, or block your mailing program. Anyway, the firewall won’t save the day if you’re careless about your downloading. Surviving Rule #1 runs: Turn Off Automated Download in Your Browser. No matter what browser you use, kill the automated download option and check ‘Always ask about download’. Whenever your browser starts downloading you should be aware of what it downloads and where from.

Recent news has it, that malware can be tethered to the inoffensive go-to links in the webpage. But if you forbade unauthorized download, your browser immediately alerts you. And here works Surviving Rule #2: Never Click ‘Yes’ Until You’re 100% Sure. Download files from Windows Store or software official sites. Do not trust sites titled like download dot com or freedownload dot com and such likes. If the name of the file looks suspicious or incomprehensive, like a chain of letters and digits, click ‘No’. Google the file’s name and see if it’s in the viruses list.

Be careful while installing software. Sometimes they go with a bunch of additional tools and utilities or browsers and an adware can well be among them. Uncheck the boxes and make sure you install just the game or tool you wanted from the start.

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View Comments (2)


  1. fryan

    June 4, 2017 at 21:25

    What should I do when I see a popup warning me about my computer being in unsafe condition and prone to viruses. They say I need to solve the situation and address the sender with great urgency.

    • Lana

      June 5, 2017 at 12:54

      These are scams. You don’t need to do anything. No action is necessary, or justified. Your computer cannot become infected simply by an unwanted popup. They can’t detect any virus and all their allegations about the unsefe condition are scam. The scammer usually includes your IP address and talks about the browser you’re using. But what will get you into trouble is believing them and taking inappropriate actions.

      Yes, a web page that warns you about the situation won’t go away sometimes, the voiceover and annoying sound stays in place… It might seem there is no way to close the windows. You might not be able to quit the app and control your browser. Sometimes, even if you shut down and restart your Mac or your iPhone, the annoying popups just keep reappearing.

      But the situation can be fixed, and there are different solutions for Safari on the Mac and Safari on an iPhone or iPad device. Besides, all solutions are easily adapted to other web browsers.

      Here comes one of the solutions specially destined for Mac:

      1) If a checkbox appears with the text “Don’t show more alerts from this webpage”, select it, and click the Leave Page or OK button.
      2) If the previous option does not appear, click repeatedly and quickly the Leave Page or OK button while also pressing the key combination ⌘ W.
      3) If you can’t see Leave Page or OK button, because the dialog box extends beyond your display’s lower limit, the Return or Enter key should perform the equivalent action.

      Either option may result in interrupting the script preventing you from closing the page normally. If it does, forget about that scam. If you still see it, or you grow tired of that method you use everyday or so, continue reading:

      Force Safari to close: Choose  (Apple menu) > Force Quit… You can use three fingers and press the three-key chord ⌘ (the Command key, located next to the space bar) Option (the key next to it) Escape (the key at the upper left of your keyboard). A dialog box with the title Force Quit Applications will open. Now choose Safari, click the Force Quit button, and confirm the dialog with Force Quit again. Then close the dialog box. Press and hold a Shift key and keep it depressed while launching Safari again. When Safari opens, release the Shift key. This action prevents Safari’s previously loaded pages from loading again upon launch.

      If that does not immediately fix the issue, do the following: Force Safari to quit again. Disconnect from the Internet by selecting Wi-Fi “off” in the Mac’s menu bar, or disconnecting its Ethernet cable if you’re not using wireless. Launch Safari again by pressing and holding a Shift key while launching Safari. Note that no pages will be able to load since you’re not connected to the Internet. Select the Safari menu > Preferences > General, and review your home page selection. Select the Privacy pane > Remove All Website Data… > Remove Now. After you reconnect to the Internet, you will need to sign in again with all websites that require authentication. Close the Preferences window. You can also select the History menu > Clear History. Then choose an appropriate period to clear from the dropdown menu. This will ensure you don’t inadvertently navigate back to the same problematic web page.
      Turn Wi-Fi back on or reconnect your Ethernet cable.

      You may consider additional actions, which are not required to eliminate the scam webpage but you may want to review them to determine if certain Safari settings have not been unexpectedly altered : Open Safari’s Preferences, select Extensions. Uninstall any Extensions that you are not certain you require by clicking the Uninstall button. If you are not sure what to uninstall, uninstall all of them. None are required for normal operation of your computer. Select the Privacy pane. Verify “Cookies and website data” is configured the way you expect. If you are not certain what choice is appropriate, choose “Allow from websites I visit”.

      If your device is running iOS (iPhone): Force Safari to quit by quickly double-clicking the Home button. On that screen, swipe left or right until you find Safari with a preview of the problematic web page. Swipe that image up and away to terminate it. The unresponsive Safari page will be gone, but if you were to launch Safari again it might just reappear. To prevent that from occurring, go to Settings. Then scroll down until you see Safari. Tap Safari, tap Clear History and Website Data. Confirm the dialog that appears next. The effect of clearing website data will require you to “sign in” again to websites that require authentication (such as this one).

      PS – I’ll write a text about this problem and try to add it today to the blog.

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