Web Watch Adware
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Web Watch?
Created by Surf Island Solutions, Web Watch is a rogue browser plug-in claiming to allow users to monitor parties who may be tracking their Internet browsing activity.
Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that Web Watch is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) or adware, since it employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of additional programs together with the chosen software) to install on Internet browsers without users' permission.
Following successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, Web Watch delivers intrusive online advertisements such as banners, pop-ups, pop-unders, interstitial, and text ads. There is a high probability that clicking advertisements generated by Web Watch will lead to further high-risk adware or malware infections.
Furthermore, Web Watch continually tracks users' Internet browsing activity by recording various software and hardware information including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, operating systems, device identifiers, browser types and data (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries entered, cookies, and browsing history), geographic locations, and other similar details that may be personally identifiable.
This behavior can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. There are many rogue applications similar to Web Watch.
Safe Web, Email Tracker, and SensePlus are just some examples. Neither Web Watch, nor any of these other applications, provide any real value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online ads and sharing collected data with third parties. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to uninstall Web Watch from your system.
Close examination of Web Watch reveals that it is mostly distributed via small programs called 'download managers' on freeware download websites such as softonic.com, soft32.com, softonic.com, etc.
Download managers are used to monetize these websites' free services by offering installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser extensions together with the chosen free software. Thus, careless download and installation of freeware frequently results in adware or malware infections.
To prevent installation of Web Watch, or other additional programs, be attentive when downloading free software and never accept installation of any additional programs offered. Additionally, if you are installing downloaded software, select the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them.
If you have installed Web Watch, and you observe intrusive online ads while surfing the Internet, read the removal instructions provided and eliminate this adware from your Internet browsers.
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 Web Watch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Web Watch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Web Watch adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Web Watch ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Web Watch' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Web Watch extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Web 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 "Web Watch", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Web Watch ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Web 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 "Web Watch", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by web watch, 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 Watch", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by web watch, 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 "Web Watch".
Computer users who have problems with ads by web watch 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 ads by web watch, 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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