What is Crime Watch?
Created by Mathematical Applications, Crime Watch is a rogue browser extension claiming to provide users with the latest news of crimes committed around the world. Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that Crime Watch is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program (PUP).
These associations are made due to a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' employed by the developers to install Crime Watch on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without users' permission.
Bundling is a way to stealthily distribute applications together with other software, and therefore, most users inadvertently install Crime Watch when downloading free software from freeware download websites.
After successful infiltration on Internet browsers, Crime Watch generates intrusive online advertisements such as banner, pop-up/under, interstitial, and in-text ads. It is highly probable that clicking advertisements generated by this rogue application will cause further high-risk adware or malware infections.
In addition, this PUP regularly tracks users' Internet browsing activity by gathering various software and hardware information that is likely to be personally identifiable.
For example: Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine geo-locations), operating systems, unique identifier numbers, browser types and data (website URLs visited, search queries entered into search engines, pages viewed, etc.), and other similar data.
Be aware that serious privacy issues or identity theft may be a result of this information tracking. You are strongly advised to uninstall Crime Watch from your Internet browsers. Crime Watch is similar to other rogue applications that use bundling as an installation method. Security Alert, Breaking News Alert, and TornPlusTV are just a few examples among many others.
Neither Crime Watch, nor any of these other applications provide any significant value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online ads and sharing collected data with third parties. Research shows that most adware is distributed via small download programs (called 'installers', 'download clients', 'download managers', etc.) used by freeware download websites such as download.com, softonic.com, and soft32.com.
Download programs are used to monetize these websites' free services and traffic by offering installation of advertised (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser plug-ins together with the chosen free software. Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware often results in adware or malware infections.
To prevent installation of Crime Watch, or other similar adware, pay close attention when downloading free software and never accept installation of any additional programs offered.
In addition, software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Additional' or 'Custom' installation options - this will reveal any hidden applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them. If you have installed Crime Watch, and you see intrusive online ads when surfing the Internet, follow the instructions below to uninstall this adware from your Internet browsers.
Deceptive free software installers used in Crime Watch adware distribution:
Crime Watch adware installer setup:
Crime Watch adware generating intrusive online ads ('Ads by Crime Watch'):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 Crime Watch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Crime Watch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Crime Watch ads from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Crime Watch advertisements from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Crime Watch' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Crime Watch extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Crime Watch 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 "CrimeWatch", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Crime Watch ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Crime Watch 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 "Crime Watch", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the crime watch 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: "Crime Watch", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the crime watch 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "Crime Watch".
Computer users who have problems with crime watch 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 crime watch 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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