PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch is deemed as potentially unwanted program that performs malicious actions once installed on the computer. This detection by Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program is given to specific software that user may optionally install together with third-party application. However, due to lack of notification during the install process, PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch often gets into the PC without user’s knowledge. Thus, you may see unwanted program called Aks, MyWay, or MindSpark on the computer without a notice.
In usual situation, PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch is bundled to freeware or shareware applications. In fact, there may be other unwanted programs that are packed to the main software that users preferred to obtain. Authors behind malicious programs are utilizing pay-per-install scheme to deploy their products over the Internet.
There are also instances that malware are being used to deploy PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch. In this case, the threat can be acquired when visiting malicious web pages, downloading compromised files, or using file-sharing apps. Links from spam emails and social media sites are also one medium consumed by attacker to spread PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch.
Once PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch is run on the computer, it targets mostly known browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. This threat performs changes on browser settings that may result to home page hijacking and browser redirect problems. PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch also drops extension, add-on, and plug-in to achieve other malicious tasks.
To start instantly when browser is opened, PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch installs itself as browser helper object. This also gives the malware to have control on the browser and install its own search engine and toolbar object.
Presence of PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch affects your installed browser program. Here are some obvious signs that the malware has invaded the computer.
- Modified start page, home page or search engine
- Constant redirect to unwanted web sites
- Excessive display of pop-up advertisements
- Browser and new tabs opens on its own
How can you remove PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch?
To totally remove PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch from the computer and get rid of relevant adware, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scan the system with suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.
Step 1 : Scan the computer with Sophos Antivirus
1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.
2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.
3. On first windows of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.
4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.
5. Internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove adware like .
6. Click the button to carry out the Scan. This will check the system for presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.
Step 2 : Run AdwCleaner to totally remove PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch
1. Download the tool called AdwCleaner from the location stated below.
2. Once you have completed the download, please close all running programs on the computer.
3. Locate the file and double-click on adwcleaner.exe to start running the tool.
4. It searches for presence of harmful programs, plug-ins, add-ons, or any data that were found malicious and linked to PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch. You may have to delete each detected item.
5. Once scan is done, the tool may need to reboot your computer to finalize the cleaning process.
6. After reboot, open AdwCleaner once more. Click on Uninstall to remove this program from your computer.
How to protect the computer?
The initial defense that comes to the mind of any computer users is to install an anti-virus or anti-malware program. This move is sensible and probably the most practical way to protect the computer against PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch attack. Hence, keep in mind that having a security software do not give full guarantee of protection. The most part of the prevention still lies on being cautious of users and therefore we are providing the following information as guidelines to protect the computer from virus infection.
Avoid Malicious Websites
There are enormous numbers of websites that was made for the primary purpose of spreading PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch. Normally, these sites are involved in integrating malicious pop-up and browser hijacker, that will eventually cause further virus infection. Avoid such kind of websites.
Delete Phishing Emails
The mass-mailing of computer viruses gives the attackers the luxury of spreading their malicious code in just one send off. This will arrive in the inbox as email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. So, if you receive an unexpected email with a link or an attached file, better delete it immediately.
Do Not Click a Suspicious Link
Links from social media, forums, and blog sites are sometimes being utilized by attackers to drive web users to a malicious page that contains malicious code. Therefore, do not just click on any link especially if it looks suspicious. Accidental access to the destination site may lead to PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch infection.
Be Careful When Downloading Files
Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the PUP.Optional.AskWebSearch virus. Avoid acquiring these types of application and if there is a need to download a freeware or shareware, be sure to obtain it from the official website or trusted providers.