Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Protectium?
Created by Pinwid Ltd, Protectium is a rogue application claiming to protect users from various infections when browsing the Internet. Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that Protectium is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program.
The developers of this rogue application employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of additional programs together with the chosen software) to install Protectium on Internet browsers without users' consent.
After successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, Protectium generates intrusive online advertisements such as in-text, banner, and pop-up ads. It is highly probable that clicking advertisements generated by Protectium will cause further computer infections.
In addition, users' Internet browsing activity is continually monitored, since Protectium records various software and hardware information including IP addresses, browsing history, URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries entered, geo-locations, and other details that may be personally identifiable.
This behavior can result in serious privacy issues or identity theft. There are many rogue applications similar to Protectium. SlimPrice, Price-Hero, and rePrice are just some examples among many others.
Neither Protectium, nor any of these other applications, are useful to 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 Protectium from your system.
Close examination of Protectium reveals that it is mostly distributed via small programs called 'download managers' on freeware download websites such as softonic.com, soft32.com, download.com, and many others.
Download managers are used by these websites as free services and traffic monetization tools, since they offer installation of advertised (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and 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 free software download procedure and clicking 'Decline' if installation of any additional programs is offered.
Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options, rather than 'Regular' or 'Quick' - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to opt-out.
If you have installed Protectium, and you see intrusive online ads while surfing the Internet, read the following removal guide and uninstall this rogue application from your system.
Protectium adware is also known to cause browser redirects to search.safefinder.com.
Deceptive free software installers used in Protectium adware distribution:
Protectium adware installer setup:
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 Protectium?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Protectium application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Protectium adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Protectium ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Protectium' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Protectium extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Protectium 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 "Protectium", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Protectium ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Protectium adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, Protectium did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your 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 any rogue browser plug-ins, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by protectium, 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 "Extensions". Locate: all recently-installed browser extensions, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by protectium, 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 all recently-installed browser add-ons.
Computer users who have problems with ads by protectium 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 protectium, 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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