What is protectedsurf?
Created by Actually Apps (Intriguing Apps), protectedsurf is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) claiming to protect users from malware and spyware infections when browsing malicious websites. This functionality may seem legitimate and useful, however, be aware that protectedsurf is categorized as adware.
The developers of this PUP employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install on Internet browsers without users' permission. Bundling allows developers to stealthily distribute their software together with other programs. Therefore, most infections occur during download of free software from freeware download websites.
Following successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, protectedsurf generates numerous intrusive online advertisements including coupon, pop-up, sponsored link, targeted video ads, and most importantly, download offers of other rogue browser extensions also considered to be adware.
There is a high probability that clicking these advertisements will cause high-risk adware or malware infections.
Furthermore, protectedsurf tracks users' Internet browsing activity by recording various information that is likely to be personally identifiable.
For example: operating system and browser types, search queries entered into search engines, website URLs visited, pages viewed, cookies, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, unique identifier numbers, geographic locations, and other details. Note that protectedsurf is similar (almost identical) to other PUPs created by the same developers and claims to enable similar functions.
Browser Protect, Browser Secure, and Browser Armor are just a few examples among many. These browser plug-ins provide no real value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements.
The behavior of adware such as protectedsurf may result in serious privacy issues or identity theft, and for this reason, you are strongly advised to uninstall protectedsurf from your Internet browsers.
Protectedsurf is distributed using similar methods as other programs developed by Intriguing Apps. For example: via fake downloads (Java updates, browser updates, etc.) and other rogue browser extensions such as Search Defense, Solid Savings, and other savings and coupons related adware.
Despite this, most users infect their systems with protectedsurf via small programs called 'download clients' on freeware download websites such as soft32.com, download.com, and softonic.com.
Download managers are used to monetize these websites' free services by offering installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% virus-free' browser plug-ins) together with the chosen free software. Thus, careless download and installation often leads to adware or malware infections.
Installation of protectedsurf, or other similar adware, can be prevented by closely observing each step of the free software download process and never accepting installation of any additional programs offered.
Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options - this will reveal any hidden applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them.
If you have already installed protectedsurf, and observe intrusive online advertisements when browsing the Internet, read the following instructions to uninstall protectedsurf from your Internet browsers.
Coupon ads generated by Protectedsurf adware in online shopping websites:
Intrusive banned ads ('Ad by protectedsurf') generated in various websites:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is protectedsurf?
- STEP 1. Uninstall protectedsurf application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove protectedsurf ads from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove protectedsurf advertisements from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Ads by protectedsurf from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove protectedsurf extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Protectedsurf adware 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 "protectedsurf", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes protectedsurf ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove protectedsurf adware 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 "protectedsurf BHO", select this entry and click "Remove". Note that protectedsurf 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 protectedsurf 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: "protectedsurf", select this entry and click the trash can icon. Note that protectedsurf ads can be caused by other adware. In the "extensions" window of Google Chrome, remove all suspicious browser extensions.
If you are unable to remove protectedsurf (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"?
If you continue to have problems with removal of the protectedsurf 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.
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 "protectedsurf". Note that protectedsurf 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 protectedsurf 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 protectedsurf 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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