What is Browser Opinion Survey?
"Browser Opinion Survey" is a scam message that invites users to take an opportunity to win a prize. It is displayed by various rogue sites that users often visit inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) or intrusive advertisements generated by other rogue sites.
Research shows that PUPs regularly infiltrate systems without permission and, as well as causing redirects, deliver intrusive ads and gather sensitive information.
The "Browser Opinion Survey" message states that the user has a chance to win free access to watch various HD movies online by simply completing a four-question survey. This is a scam. After completing the survey, users receive nothing in return. This is performed simply to gather answers/information from thousands of users.
Furthermore, the visited sites gather other sensitive data, such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, geographic locations, and so on. Therefore, you should leave these sites immediately.
Note that rogue sites often employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, the browser should be terminated using Task Manager, or simply reboot the system. Do not restore the previous session the next time you run the browser, since this will reopen the rogue sites.
As mentioned, potentially unwanted programs deliver advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ tools (e.g., "virtual layers") that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, pop-ups, coupons, banners, and other intrusive advertisements often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience.
Furthermore, these ads can redirect to malicious websites and run scripts that download/install other PUPs or even malware. Clicking them risks further computer infections. PUPs are also notorious for data tracking. Research shows that potentially unwanted programs often record sensitive information such as website URLs visited, pages viewed, keystrokes, and so on.
This information is later shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. We strongly recommend that you uninstall all potentially unwanted programs immediately.
|Name||2018 Annual Visitor Survey pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are many deceptive messages delivered by malicious websites, however, unlike "Browser Opinion Survey", most do not offer prizes.
Developers present fake error messages stating that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, etc.) It is stated that all issues must be resolved immediately and users are encouraged to call fake 'tech support' (and pay for unnecessary services) or download fake anti-virus tools (and purchase 'full' versions).
Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. By offering "useful features", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, these programs are designed only to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.
How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?
Some PUPs have official download websites, however, most infiltrate systems without permission, since developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" (stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps).
Developers are not honest enough to disclose PUP installations properly. Therefore, they hide them within various sections (usually "Custom" or "Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes.
Furthermore, many users are likely to skip download/installation steps and click advertisements - behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of PUPs. In this way, many users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings.
Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. You are advised to download programs from official sources only, using direct download links.
Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus should never be used. Note that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.) If you experience these redirects, immediately remove all dubious applications and browser plug-ins.
If your computer is already infected with PUPs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Page displayed after the survey is completed:
Text presented in "Browser Opinion Survey" pop-up:
2018 Annual Visitor Survey
Browser Opinion Survey
You've been personally selected to take part in our 2018 Annual Visitor Survey! Tell us what you think of this browser and to say "Thank you" you'll receive a chance to win HD Streaming Movies!
The appearance of "Browser Opinion Survey" pop-up (GIF):
Another variant of "Browser Opinion Survey" pop-up scam:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Browser Opinion Survey?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted programs:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 2018 annual visitor survey pop-up, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 2018 annual visitor survey pop-up, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with 2018 annual visitor survey pop-up removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the 2018 annual visitor survey pop-up, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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