What is Spy Guard?
Spy Guard is a browser add-on created by Big Water Applications LLC. It is compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla FireFox. When installed, this browser extension displays any cookies generated by websites visited when browsing the Internet.
Whilst such added functionality may seem useful, there is a downside to this browser plug-in: it tracks Internet users' activity and generates various unwanted ads. Internet browser tracking can lead to privacy issues and clicking the displayed ads can result in serious computer security issues.
When installed, Spy Guard tracks the following information: IP addresses, unique identifier numbers, operating systems, browsers and other installed software, web page URLs visited, and search queries entered.
This browser add-on claims to reveal how websites track users' Internet browsing, however, Spy Guard is in fact the real threat to their online privacy. There are also other issues with this browser extension. For example, its behavior is similar to "Yontoo" or "Ads not by this site" and it generates various unwanted advertisements when users browse the Internet.
Spy Guard can generate up to five display advertisements per page, show text ads when using search engines (such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.), and generate intrusive pop-up ads. Spy Guard is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), and therefore, it is advisable to eliminate it from your computer.
Spy Guard is installed on users' computers using deceptive online ads or together with free software downloaded from the Internet. Note that the creators of this browser add-on display a fake 'Norton Secured' badge on their website - an indication clearly demonstrating that users should not trust this company or use their browser add-ons.
To avoid installing Spy Guard, express caution when downloading and installing free software, since many download websites and freeware developers 'bundle' Spy Guard with these free programs in order to monetize their free downloads. To eliminate this potentially unwanted application, use the removal guide provided.
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- What is Spy Guard?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Spy Guard application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Spy Guard add-on from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Spy Guard plugin from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Spy Guard extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Spy Guard extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Spy Guard removal:
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 "Spy Guard", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling Spy Guard, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Remove Spy Guard from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Spy Guard" and disable it.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the spy guard 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.
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 "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "Spy Guard", select it and click on the trash can icon.
If the Spy Guard extension is greyed-out and you cannot remove it ("This extension is managed and cannot be removed of disabled"), please follow this removal guide - how to remove a managed Google Chrome extension?
If you continue to have problems with removal of the spy guard virus, 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 on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "Spy Guard".
Computer users who have problems with spy guard virus 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 spy guard virus, 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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