What is Web Safeguard?
Developed by Intriguing Apps, the Web Safeguard rogue browser extension claims to enhance the protection of Internet browsing by preventing installation of malware and spyware. This may seem to be a legitimate and useful browser extension, however, be aware that Web Safeguard is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application.
The developers of this rogue browser add-on employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of additional applications together with the chosen software) to install on browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without users' consent.
Following successful infiltration, Web Safeguard generates numerous intrusive online advertisements including banner, pop-up, interstitial, sponsored link, targeted video, and download offers of other potentially unwanted applications (which are also considered to be adware). There is a high probability that clicking these ads will cause high-risk adware or malware infections.
Furthermore, this potentially unwanted application continually monitors users' Internet browsing activity by recording various information, which could be personally identifiable. For example: operating systems, browser types, search queries entered, URLs visited, pages viewed, IP addresses, unique identifier numbers, geo-locations, and other similar details.
This behavior may lead to serious privacy issues or identity theft, and for this reason, users are strongly advised to eliminate Web Safeguard from their Internet browsers.
At time of research, Web Safeguard was distributed via fake downloads (Java updates, browser updates, etc.) as well as download offers generated by other rogue browser extensions such as Wifi Protector, Browser Guardian, and other Savings and Coupon related ads.
Web Safeguard is similar to other potentially unwanted applications (for example, Clean Browse, Web Security App, Browser Keeper) claiming to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by enabling certain functions. None of these plug-ins adds any real value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements.
Commonly, users inadvertently install adware such as Web Safeguard when downloading free software via small programs called 'download managers' on freeware download websites.
Websites such as download.com, soft32.com, and softonic.com employ download managers to monetize their free services by offering installation of advertised 'virus-free' browser extensions together with the chosen free software. Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware often results in adware or malware infections.
This situation can be prevented by closely observing each step of the freeware download process and never accepting installation of any additional programs offered.
In addition, if you are installing downloaded software, choose the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options - this will reveal any hidden applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them. If you have already installed Web Safeguard, and observe intrusive online advertisements, follow this removal guide to eliminate this application from your Internet browsers.
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- What is Web Safeguard?
- STEP 1. Uninstall potentially unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Web Safeguard ads from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Web Safeguard advertisements from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Ads by Web Safeguard from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Web Safeguard extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Web Safeguard ads 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 "Web Safeguard" (or other potentially unwanted applications - at time of testing, Web Safeguard ads were generated by various coupon ads showing adware), select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Web Safeguard ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Web Safeguard ads 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 "Web Safeguard", select this entry and click "Remove". Note that Web Safeguard ads can be caused by other adware. In the Manage Add-ons window, remove all suspicious browser add-ons.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the web safeguard adware, 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: "Web Safeguard", select this entry and click the trash can icon. Note that Web Safeguard ads can be caused by other adware. In the "extensions" window of Google Chrome, remove all suspicious browser extensions.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the web safeguard adware, 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.
If you are unable to remove Web Safeguard (or any other add-on) and it is greyed-out ("Installed by enterprise policy"), follow this removal guide - how to remove a Google Chrome extension that is "Installed by enterprise policy"?
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 "Web Safeguard". Note that Web Safeguard ads can be generated by other adware. In the "Add-ons Manager" window, remove all suspicious browser add-ons.
Computer users who have problems with web safeguard adware 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 web safeguard adware, 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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