Tag Archives: adware

Adware Removal

os x finder security logoIf you’ve used the internet long enough, chances are you’ve encountered ad-injection software or adware. Adware presents itself in many annoying forms such as pop-up windows, ads, changing your homepage, and extra banners or toolbars when using your browser.

Adware is usually picked up when installing third-party software, it is disguised or bundled with other software that you intend to install. If you think your Mac has been infected with adware then use these steps to rid yourself of this issue.

Check Safari settings and extensions

  1. Open Safari
  2. From the menu bar select Safari > Preferences
  3. Select the General icon and make sure that the Homepage field contains the website you want.
  4. Select the Search icon and make sure that the search engine setting shows your preferred search engine. Some versions of Safari have this setting in the General pane instead.
  5. Click the Extensions icon. If you don’t want an extension or don’t recognize it, select the extension from the list and click Uninstall.

 Removing Adware

Downlite, VSearch, Conduit, Trovi, MyBrand, and Search Protect are all common adware that are found on Macs. You can use this “Go to Folder” method to find and remove each item listed in the sections below, one item at a time:

  1. Drag to select an entire line in the lists below, starting with /System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework, for example.
  2. Choose Edit > Copy.
  3. Open a Finder window, then choose View > As Columns.
  4. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
  5. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the line you copied into the text field.
  6. Press Return.
  • If the item is on your Mac, a window opens with the item you searched for already selected. Drag only that item to the Trash. If you’re asked to enter a password, enter your administrator password.
  • If the item is not on your Mac, you’ll see a message that the folder can’t be found. Continue to the next item in the list.

Repeat the steps above using the files listed below:

/System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework
/System/Library/Frameworks/VSearch.framework
/Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/Jack
/Library/InputManagers/CTLoader/
/Library/Application Support/Conduit/
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ConduitNPAPIPlugin.plugin
~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/TroviNPAPIPlugin.plugin
/Applications/SearchProtect.app

After you remove the items above, restart your Mac. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove them.

If you found the above steps to be difficult, then you should try this adware removal tool called AdwareMedic that will do the leg work for you. AdwareMedic was created by Thomas Reed, a computer enthusiast and Mac fanatic. Thomas has a blog, thesafemac.com, dedicated to  malware and adware prevention and removal. His website is a valuable resource and worth checking out, as well as his comprehensive adware removal guide.

 

Java- Beware of Adware

As Mac users, one of the benefits we enjoy is the ability to surf the web free from worrying about infection from malware or viruses. Many users don’t bother using antivirus software at all.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be wary of adware (software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material) or bloatware ourselves when we install other programs. With their latest release of Java 8, Oracle has begun packaging an Ask.com toolbar into their installer for Mac.

Screenshot 2015-03-10 09.10.26When installing the latest update of Java, the option to install the Ask.com Toolbar is selected by default. It is deceptively easy for the casual user to click “next” and finish the installation without noticing the opt-out section of the installer. If the extra software is installed, it redirects your homepage to Ask.com and instals a search bar to your browser, which some may find intrusive.

Though annoying as it is, the software is pretty easy to remove. Safari users can simply navigate to their list of browser extensions (Safari -> Preferences -> Extensions) to remove it. While Chrome users can uninstall the software directly from the Ask Toolbar’s Help menu.

While it is rather annoying to see Oracle adopt the practice of including adware with its products, it is not at all uncommon among many developers. As a rule of thumb, users should always keep an eye out for opt-out check boxes when installing third party software.