Windows Online Protection Has Detected Spyware POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" removal instructions

What is "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware"?

"Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" is a scam designed to trick people into installing a fake antivirus tool called Live Protection Suite. This program is promoted by displaying fake virus detections on a deceptive website. In summary, this scam website informs visitors that it has detected viruses (spyware, trojans, etc.) on computers and encourages them to remove the issues by installing Live Protection Suite. Do not trust this scam web page or the program that is promoted through it.

Windows Online Protection has detected spyware scam

Initially, the site opens a pop-up window stating that the user's computer is infected with viruses, which might cause data loss, system crashes, and other problems. People are invited to scan their computers with the Live Protection Suite, which is disguised as a certified antivirus tool created by Microsoft. If the "OK" button is clicked, the web page starts a fake scanning process that detects over one hundred trojans. It displays the "Windows Security Alert" pop-up window stating that Windows Online Protection has detected spyware and is ready to remove it. It encourages users to remove the infection by clicking the "Remove all" button. If clicked, it downloads a setup file of the Live Protection Suite fake antivirus program. This program displays fake system warnings (pop-ups), opens untrustworthy websites in the browser, and so on. In this way, it often tricks people into paying for the so-called 'full version'. Programs that are promoted through deceptive websites cannot be trusted and should not be downloaded or installed. Close this, and any similar scam web pages immediately.

Generally, people do not visit these pages intentionally - they are opened by installed potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) on the system. In addition to unwanted redirects, PUAs serve users with ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. These intrusive ads usually conceal underlying content of any visited website. Furthermore, if clicked, they open potentially malicious websites or trigger installation/download of other unwanted apps (some of these ads also run scripts that perform this function). PUAs also record user-system information including IP addresses, entered search queries, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, and other data of this kind. Some of this data might also include personal details.

Threat Summary:
Name "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Fake virus alert/scan suggests that a computer is infected with spyware, trojans and other viruses, and encourages users to download a fake antivirus suite
Distributed Unwanted Apps Live Protection Suite
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Removal

To eliminate Windows Online Protection has detected spyware virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Other similar scams include "Your Windows Computer Could Be Infected With Viruses!", "Windows hard disk is at high risk", and "Microsoft detected malicious virus and blocked your computer". Typically, scammers use them to trick people into installing unwanted software or to extort money by encouraging them to purchase unnecessary software or services. PUAs that open these sites are usually advertised as 'useful' and 'legitimate', however, they provide none of the promoted features, tools, and so on. On the contrary, they simply open dubious websites, gather information, and display ads.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most PUAs are distributed through a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", which is used to trick users into downloading and installing PUAs with other software. To achieve this, developers hide information regarding these unwanted apps in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the installation/download set-ups. Furthermore, many users skip steps without checking the settings, thereby allowing unwanted apps to be downloaded/installed with some other, regular software. In other cases, PUAs are installed when people click intrusive ads that cause unwanted downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software from official/trustworthy sources (websites) and using download direct links. Do not download using third party downloaders, torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), untrustworthy pages, and so on. Install (or download) software carefully, check each download/installation step, and dismiss offers to download/install unwanted apps that are presented in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings or options of the download/installation set-ups. Avoid clicking intrusive advertisements, since they can redirect to untrustworthy websites relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on. If a browser causes redirects to dubious pages, or various ads appear whilst browsing the web, check for unwanted entries installed on the browser (extensions, plug-ins, pop-ups) and remove them. Also apply this to programs installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" pop-up:

ATTENTION: If your computer is infected with viruses, you could suffer data loss, erratic PC behaviour, PC freezes and crashes.
Detect and remove harmful trojans and viruses before they damage your computer! Live Protection Suite for Windows will perform a FREE and quick scan of your computer for viruses, spyware and adware. Do you want to install Live Protection Suite certified Microsoft Windows antivirus now to remove all viruses and protect your PC for FREE (Recommended) 

Screenshot of the fake virus scanner and pop-up that encourages users to download Windows Online Protection:

windows online protection fake scan results

Text in the pop-up:

To help protect your computer, Windows Online Protection has detected spyware and is ready to remove it. Spyware is software which is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge, or possible without the full functionality being made clear to your. It can, among other things, slow your Internet connection down and make frustrating changes to your browser.

Screenshot of the Live Protection Suite:

fake antivirus program called live protection suite

The appearance of "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" pop-up (GIF):

windows online protection has detected spyware scam appearance in gif

Instant automatic removal of Windows Online Protection has detected spyware virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Windows Online Protection has detected spyware virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

PUAs uninstall via Control Panel

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 application, 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Removing rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows online protection has detected spyware" virus, 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "windows online protection has detected spyware" virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (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.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "windows online protection has detected spyware" virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "windows online protection has detected spyware" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "windows online protection has detected spyware" virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Windows Online Protection has detected spyware virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Windows Online Protection has detected spyware" virus on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

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Platform: Windows

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.