"Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" scam removal instructions
What is "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update"?
"Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" refers to a scam run on various untrustworthy webpages. The scheme is presented an alert concerning a new update to the Norton anti-virus, which users are urged to install. It must be emphasized that "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" is not a genuine message from NortonLifeLock - the software developers of Norton AntiVirus. The "small print" even states that it is an "Advertisement by an independent affiliate of Norton", though the claim of affiliation is untrue. The goal of such schemes is to endorse various products. It is especially rare for scams to promote legitimate tools; they are usually used to distribute untrustworthy and possibly malicious software. Most notably, scams like "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" promote fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). In some cases, schemes of this kind have been observed being used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Deceptive sites are typically accessed inadvertently - via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or installed PUAs.
The "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" scam claims that Norton has released an update in response to recent malware/virus reports. The scheme alerts that devices without installed protection tools are at risk of system infections and poor performance. The scam urges users to clean and improve their computer system operation immediately. To install the update supposedly does not require a system restart. The "small print" on the page states that it is not a security warning but an advertisement. The scheme falsely claims that it is an advert from an "independent affiliate of Norton". It must be emphasized that "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" cannot be trusted. It is strongly advised against downloading/installing and/or purchasing content endorsed through this scam.
As mentioned in the introduction, PUAs are often promoted through scams. These applications appear legitimate and offer "useful" features, which are seldom operational. Fake anti-virus tools are prime examples of this; they require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the advertised functions, yet following activation - they remain nonoperational. Furthermore, unwanted apps can have unmentioned, harmful abilities. Some can force-open misleading, deceptive/scam, and malicious websites (e.g., ones running "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update"). Another PUA type classified as adware - operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns. The delivered ads seriously diminish the browsing experience, and they are deemed to be dangerous. Upon being clicked, intrusive adverts redirect to dubious/malicious sites, and some can stealthily download/install software. Browser hijackers are a type of PUAs that modify browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - in order to promote illegitimate search engines. The promoted web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other genuine search engines.
What is more, most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information inferred from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details). PUA developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices - can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
|Name||Norton Antivirus 2021 Update pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam urges users to update the Norton anti-virus.|
|Disguise||Scam is presented as an alert from Norton/ advertisement from an independent affiliate of Norton.|
|Detection Names (secure.protect-pc-plus[.]xyz)||Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (secure.protect-pc-plus[.]xyz)||188.8.131.52|
|Distributed Unwanted Apps||Various dubious applications|
|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.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
The Internet is rife with misleading and deceptive websites/content. Popular scam models include: alerts that an essential piece of software is outdated or missing, warnings that the system is infected or at risk, fake prize giveaways and raffles, unbelievable deals and offers, etc. "Instagram Copyright Infringement", "Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity", "Chrome search contest 2021", "Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired", and "Spin The Wheel" are some examples of online scams. The sole purpose of these schemes is to generate revenue at user expense. Due to how widespread the scams are, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Select PUAs have "official" download webpages, which may be promoted by deceptive/scam sites. These applications are also distributed via downloaders/installers of other programs. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - can offer harmful and bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and innocuous; however, they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and many others). In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in the "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" scam:
Norton Antivirus 2021 Update
Due to recent reports of Malware and Viruses, Norton has released an Antivirus update.
Computers without the Antivirus, could be exposed to viruses and slower performance.
Clean and improve the performance of your Computer now. No computer restart is required.
Click Here to Enable Now
Advertisement by an independent affiliate of Norton
PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
Instantly identify harmful threats
Speedup overall performance
Delete redundant files
Secure internet connection
The appearance of "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" pop-up scam (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update"?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 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:
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 norton antivirus 2021 update 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 plugins 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 norton antivirus 2021 update 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 norton antivirus 2021 update 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.
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 norton antivirus 2021 update 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.
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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove norton antivirus 2021 update pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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