What if a free tool promised you protection from malicious websites, phishing scams, and other nefarious activities, would you download it? Well, we suggest that you research about that tool first. Perhaps that tool has a hidden agenda.
One particular tool that we’ll look into is Web Companion.
About Web Companion
What is Web Companion? Can Web Companion harm my computer? How much does it cost? Okay, relax. We’ll answer your questions one at a time.
Developed by Lavasoft, Web Companion is a free browser extension that promises to protect internet users from data tracking, advertisements, malicious websites, and phishing scams. However, because it often installs without the user’s knowledge, it is considered a potentially unwanted program.
Once installed, this PUP displays advertisements that contain coupons, banners, and links to ad sites. It also changes the browser settings, for instance, the home page.
It is worth noting, though, that Web Companion is not a virus because it does not cause irreparable damage to a computer. It only steals personal and private information, which is then sent to third parties.
You will know that this PUP is installed because you will notice an odd increase in your web traffic and your PC significantly slows down.
How Did Your Computer Get Infected?
Ever wondered how this program infected your computer? Whether you believe it or not, the reason is you. PUPs make it to your PC because of the freeware you’ve downloaded and installed. There is a chance that your download came bundled with this unnecessary tool.
To avoid installing PUPs like Web Companion, make it a habit to read the terms and agreements. Do not click agree right away. First, ensure that the program you are installing is safe. If possible, select the custom installation type.
It also helps to read reviews about the programs you are installing. This way, you will have an idea about the first-hand experience of others.
How to Remove Web Companion
If your computer is already infected by the Web Companion PUP, remove it right away. So, how do you uninstall Web Companion? Simply follow the steps below:
Step 1: Use Control Panel
To manually remove Web Companion from your PC, use Control Panel. From there, delete all infected files and registry keys. Here’s how:
- Go to Start.
- Click Control Panel.
- Select Add or Remove Programs.
- Locate Web Companion and hit Uninstall.
Windows 7 or Vista:
- Click Start.
- Go to Control Panel.
- Select Uninstall a Program.
- Find Web Companion from the list of programs and hit Uninstall.
Windows 8 or Later Versions:
- Click Start.
- Into the search field, input Control Panel and hit Enter.
- Choose the first matching item in the results.
- Click Uninstall a Program.
- Find Web Companion from the list of installed programs and click the Uninstall button.
Step 2: Remove it from your browser
After removing the Web Companion program from your PC, remove it from your browser. Use the steps below as your guide:
For Google Chrome:
- Launch Google Chrome.
- Press ALT + F.
- Go to Tools and select Extensions.
- Locate Web Companion and click the Trash icon next to it to remove the toolbar.
For Mozilla Firefox:
- Open Mozilla Firefox.
- Press the Shift + CTRL + A keys.
- Select Web Companion.
- Click the Remove or Disable button next to it.
For Internet Explorer:
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Press the ALT + T keys.
- Select Manage Add-ons.
- Choose Toolbars and Extensions.
- Click Disable Web Companion and tap the More Information link.
- Hit Remove.
Step 3: Run a malware scan
For this step, you need to download a trustworthy anti-malware tool and run a quick scan. This is to remove all remnants and dependent components of the Web Companion PUP that remain from your PC.
To further ensure no other malware entities disguise as junk files on your PC, scan it with a PC repair tool as well. This will remove any system junk that triggers problems and optimize your computer for top performance.
If the Web Companion PUP has compromised your system and browser settings, just follow the steps above. However, if they didn’t work, feel free to seek help from Apple experts.
Did the Web Companion program infect your computer, too? How did you remove it? Let us know below!
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.