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How to remove apps promoting highercaptcha-settle.com?

Also Known As: Ads by highercaptcha-settle.com
Damage level: Medium

What is highercaptcha-settle[.]com?

Highercaptcha-settle[.]com is pretty similar to news-rewuje[.]cc, nomore-spam[.]com, news-joruca[.]cc site, and lots of other untrustworthy websites. Depending on the visitor's geolocation, this page opens two, three other pages of this kind or displays deceptive content (for example, a deceptive message, fake CAPTCHA test). Usually, websites like highercaptcha-settle[.]com get opened by installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), visited unreliable pages, or clicked untrustworthy ads.

highercaptcha-settle[.]com pop-up redirects

Ighercaptcha-settle[.]com and PUAs in detail

Typically, websites like highercaptcha-settle[.]com are designed to use a clickbait technique to trick visitors into allowing them to show notifications. This particular page displays a deceptive message (a fake CAPTCHA test) encouraging visitors to click the "Allow" button to prove that they are not robots. It is strongly recommended not to allow highercaptcha-settle[.]com or any other similar page to show notifications - most of these pages show notifications containing links to questionable websites, shady advertisements, etc.

Also, highercaptcha-settle[.]com is likely to be designed to open untrustworthy pages designed to trick visitors into downloading potentially unwanted applications (for example, browser hijackers, adware-type applications), providing personal information (for example, credit card details, login credentials), and so on. A couple of examples of websites that sites like highercaptcha-settle[.]com can be used to promote are "Your Chrome Is Severely Damaged By 13 Malware!", "Your Device Might Have Security Issues", and "Firewall Spyware Alert". For these reasons, it is highly advisable not to trust highercaptcha-settle[.]com and websites that this address opens.

Quite often, apps (PUAs) designed to promote pages like highercaptcha-settle[.]com are designed to gather data and generate advertisements. Those PUAs collect IP addresses, entered search queries, geolocations, addresses of visited pages, or other browsing data. In some cases, apps of this kind can be designed to collect sensitive information (like saved passwords, credit card details) that could be used to steal accounts, make fraudulent purchases, etc.

Also, PUAs can be designed to generate coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, and other advertisements. It is common that those ads are used to promote untrustworthy pages or distribute unwanted software. In the second case, those ads can cause downloads, installations of unwanted, potentially malicious applications by running certain scripts.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by highercaptcha-settle.com
Threat Type Push notifications ads, Unwanted ads, Pop-up ads
Detection Names Kaspersky (Malware), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 5.8.34.26
Observed Domains a.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, b.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, c.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, d.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, e.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, g.highercaptcha-settle[.]com, h.highercaptcha-settle[.]com
Symptoms Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications (adware)
Damage Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Pages like highercaptcha-settle[.]com and PUAs in general

In conclusion, highercaptcha-settle[.]com and similar websites cannot be trusted. Most of them are used to promote other untrustworthy pages and display deceptive content. Potentially unwanted applications designed to promote pages like highercaptcha-settle[.]com should not be trusted too.

It is uncommon for PUAs to be useful to their users. Typically, they do not improve the browsing experience, have any features, etc. The main purpose of PUAs is to generate revenue for their developers by gathering information, displaying ads and promoting shady websites.

How did adware install on my computer?

In some cases, users download or install potentially unwanted applications through deceptive advertisements - they cause it by clicking ads that are designed to execute certain scripts. It is uncommon for ads of this type to appear on legitimate websites.

In other cases, users download or install PUAs together with other programs when those apps are included in downloaders or installers for other programs and as additional offers. Typically, users can deselect unwanted apps (decline unwanted offers) via "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings or by unticking ticked checkboxes that downloaders or installers have. PUAs get permission to be downloaded or installed when users finish downloads, installations of other programs without modifying (changing) the aforementioned settings.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Software and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Files (or programs) downloaded via Peer-to-Peer networks (for example, eMule, torrent clients), third-party downloaders, from unofficial pages, etc., can be malicious. Apps installed via third-party installers can be designed to install malware too.

Downloaders and installers that have "Advanced", "Manual, "Custom" or other settings, or ticked checkboxes are likely to include additional offers. Those offers should be declined before finishing downloads, installations. Typically, unwanted apps are bundled with free programs.

Advertisements on unreliable pages should not be trusted - they can open potentially malicious pages or run scripts designed to cause downloads, installations. Any suspicious or unknown extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins installed on a web browser and software of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed. If your computer is already infected with rogue applications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of highercaptcha-settle[.]com website (GIF):

highercaptcha-settle[.]com website appearance (GIF)

Notification from highercaptcha-settle[.]com:

highercaptcha-settle.com ads notification

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Quick menu:

Disable unwanted browser notifications:

Video showing how to disable web browser notifications:

Google Chrome logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome:

Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". In the opened window select "Privacy and security", then click on "Site Settings" and choose "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 1)

In the "Allowed to send notifications" list search for websites that you want to stop receiving notifications from. Click on the three dots icon near the website URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 2)

Android logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome (Android):

Tap the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". Scroll down, tap on "Site settings" and then "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and tap on them one-by-one. Once the pop-up shows up, select either "Block" or "Remove" (if you tap "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 2)

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove spam notifications from Mozilla Firefox:

Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen. Select "Settings" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen. Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and block them using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove Website" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove Website" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 2)

Microsoft Edge logoRemove spam notifications from Microsoft Edge:

Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window and select "Settings". Click on "Cookies and site permissions" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and select "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 1)

Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL under "Allow" section and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 2)

Safari logoRemove spam notifications from Safari (macOS):

Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences...". Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane.

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 1)

Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 2)

How to avoid browser notification spam?

Internet users should be very skeptical when being asked to allow notifications. While this is a useful feature that allows you to receive timely news from websites you like, deceptive marketers frequently abuse it.

Only allow notifications from websites that you fully trust. For added security - use an anti-malware application with a real-time web browsing monitor to block shady websites that tries to trick you into allowing spam notifications. We recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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