What is Adware.MAC.Webhelper?
Adware.MAC.Webhelper is an adware infection. Adware refers to unwanted applications that generate revenue for their creators by displaying advertisements on users’ computers. Adware is most commonly installed using a deceptive software marketing method called ‘bundling’. Users are tricked into believing that they are downloading a Flash Player update, or other popular free software, but often do not notice other unwanted applications attached to the installation steps of the software they initially downloaded. By not paying enough attention to installation steps, many users inadvertently install adware onto their systems.
Adware comes in many forms such as fake Chromium-based browsers, weather forecast widgets, toolbars, etc. The behaviour of adware applications often varies. Some bombard Internet browsers with pop-up ads, whilst others stealthily track users’ browsing behaviour and send the recorded information to advertisers. Some might add a ‘virtual layer’ to websites that users visit and display additional banner ads.
How to know if your Mac is infected with adware?
- Pop-up ads appear while browsing the Internet. Although this could be normal, look for pop-up ads that seem out of place or inappropriate – for example, a pop-up ad opens when visiting Google.com.
- Your Internet browsers have slowed down (most adware programs are poorly programmed and their presence significantly reduces browser performance).
- Legitimate websites show dubious ads. Adware applications use a ‘virtual layer’ over everyday legitimate sites to display various ads. For example, you should be suspicious if you visit google.com and see banner ads promoting gambling or adult content.
- You see new extensions or toolbars that you did not install. Adware applications commonly install various toolbars and browser add-ons that redirect users to specific Internet searches or display advertisements. For example, rather than going through google.com, Internet searches are redirected to yahoo.com or bing.com.
Appearance of a fake Flash Player update pop-up distributing adware infections:
How did Adware.MAC.Webhelper install on my Mac?
The most common source of adware infections are free software download websites, fake Flash Player updates, and torrent download sites. For example, after downloading a popular player from a software download website, users might rush through the installation steps not noticing that they are, by default, agreeing to install various toolbars and other adware together with the downloaded app.
Owners of download websites add a ‘download agent’ or ‘custom installer’ that “offers” (sometimes in a very deceptive way) installation of additional applications (most commonly, adware) together with the downloaded free software. Deceptive pop-up ads are another common source of adware used to trick users into downloading supposedly useful apps (for example, weather forecast widgets). In fact, the main purpose of these apps is to display ads and generate revenue for their developers.
Appearance of a deceptive free software installer that is bundling adware infections:
How to avoid installation of adware?
To minimise the chances of Mac infection by adware, download free software from developers’ websites only. Do not search for software cracks or use Torrent websites. Never trust Internet pop-up ads asking you to update software (for example, Flash or Java) – these ads are often part of a scam and you will download trojans and adware, rather than any software update. When installing free software, be attentive and check all advanced/expert installation options, since these might reveal potential installation of adware.
Automatic Adware.MAC.Webhelper removal:
Manual adware removal can be a lengthy and risky process that involves removing files from various locations on the system. Combo Cleaner is award-winning Mac antivirus software that can detect and remove Adware.MAC.Webhelper automatically. Click the button below to download Combo Cleaner:
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Free Scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove threats, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner
Manual Adware.MAC.Webhelper removal:
1. Click on any blank space on your desktop, then select “Go” from the top menu.
2. Select “Go to folder“…
In the opened window, individually paste the lines shown below. In the opened folders, look for adware generated files and remove them. Look for recently-added files that seem out of place. Here are some examples of malware generated files: “com.MyMacUpdater.agent.plist“, “com.MyShopcoupon.agent.plist“, etc.
Here’s a list of folders commonly used by adware infections:
Here’s a sample of how a folder with adware files looks like:
Adware removal using Activity Monitor:
1. Open you Launchpad, select “Other“, in the opened list select “Activity Monitor“.
2. In Activity Monitor look for any suspicious process name, when located double click on it.
3. In the opened window click the “Sample” button. This will open an additional window where you will see a line starting with “Path:” Select the path of the suspicious process (select the path, then right click your mouse over the selection and click “copy“).
4. Click on any blank space on your desktop, then select “Go” from the top menu.
5. From the “Go” menu select “Go to Folder…“, in the opened window paste the path of the suspicious process you copied previously.
6. From the opened folder: drag and drop the file of the suspicious process to your trash can.
Some adware applications install unwanted browser extensions that allow them to display unwanted advertisements or redirect users’ Internet searches. The next step when dealing with adware infections is removal of rogue browser extensions:
Remove rogue browser extensions from Safari:
Step 1 Open your Safari browser. Click on Safari (top menu) and select “Preferences” from the list.
Step 2 In the preferences window select “Extensions” and remove all suspicious extensions by clicking “Uninstall“.
Remove rogue browser extensions from Google Chrome:
Step 1 Open your Google Chrome browser and click on the three dots symbol. From the opened list select “More Tools” and then “Extensions“.
Step 2 In the opened window look for suspicious extensions and click on “Remove” button next to them.
Remove rogue browser extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Step 1 Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. Click on the three lines symbol. From the opened list select “Add-ons“.
Step 2 In the opened window look for suspicious add-ons and remove them by clicking “Remove” button next to them.