How can I get rid of unwanted pop-ups and advertisements?

Pop-up ads can make browsing a chore, particularly when you are trying to take a test.

To prevent pop-ups, make sure you have your browser configured correctly, have downloaded the latest version, and are using a secure browser.

Click here for a quick-check of your system browser: https://www.whatismybrowser.com/ or http://whatbrowser.org/

If you are seeing random pop-up ads and redirects within Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome, your computer may be infected with an adware or other unwanted program.

Because the web-based practice examination needs to serve you random questions and score your answers, as well as send you a PDF report of your test at the end, the use of JavaScript is required in your browser. While we have taken every precaution to ensure that it is completely safe, activating JavaScript in your browser can make the browser a bit more susceptible to adware and other types of malicious software.

A browser infected with adware or other malicious software where JavaScript is disabled may not show the infection until the browser’s JavaScript is enabled.

Ultimately, there is no cause for concern. For more information, you can read this article on JavaScript: http://www.howtogeek.com/138865/htg-explains-should-you-disable-javascript/

If your computer is infected with adware or any other type of malicious software, you may see pop-up advertisements all over the place in your browser.

The pop-up advertisements are usually caused by an ad-supported extension for many modern browsers, which is distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. The malicious browser extensions are typically added when you install another free software (video recording/streaming, download managers or PDF creators) that bundled this adware program into its installation.

When an adware extension is installed on your computer, whenever you open a new tab within the browser, an advertisement from an advertisement server will pop up. Other common symptoms:

  • Advertising banners are injected into the web pages that you are visiting.
  • Random web page text is turned into hyperlinks.
  • Browser pop-ups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted adware programs might be installed without your knowledge.

We have some suggestions and tips below to help you clean up your computer.


STEP 1: Reset your browser to its original or default settings.

If you are experiencing issues with pop-up ads in your browser, sometimes the simplest way to solve this is to reset your browser to its default settings.

This step should be performed only if you do not have or need any of your settings saved in/by the browser. This action resets the browser and all its settings.


STEP 2: Uninstall the program responsible for the pop-up ads.

The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the Installed On column to sort your programs by installation date. Scroll through the list and uninstall any unwanted or unknown program.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall a program, you can use an uninstaller (Windows/Macs) to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.

If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.


STEP 3: Remove adware from your computer with an adware cleaner.

The adware cleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for malicious files, adware browser extensions, and registry keys that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

You can download free adware utilities from the links below.

https://toolslib.net/downloads/finish/1/ (Windows)
http://www.adwaremedic.com/index.php (Macs)
Another nice adware removal guide (Macs)


STEP 4: Install a good antivirus system.

There are many free antivirus systems available on the Internet that you can download, install, and use — not just for PCs and Macs, but for all smart devices too.

Ensure you have a good antivirus system installed. If you do not, check these links for some ideas:

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-antivirus,review-2588-7.html
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388652,00.asp


STEP 5: Keep your browser up to date and always check for a system update.

Often the problem is simply that you are using an outdated browser or unpatched operating system. This causes your device to be much more susceptible to browser malware infections.

Most modern operating systems include good malware detection and protection routines in their latest updates. Always make sure that your system’s OS and browser are completely up to date.

When you are using or planning to use JavaScript in the browser, you can check your system browser at https://www.whatismybrowser.com/ or http://whatbrowser.org.


Stay safe online. Follow safe networking practices and be safe when using your browser and email.

See more info on how to stay safe and secure online:

https://www.google.com/safetycenter/everyone/start/devices/ (includes a video on how to protect your computer from malware)

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