OK, so first of all, are you infected? Probably. Especially, it has become frequent that these survey popups appear on pretty much every website you visit. If you are getting a bunch of pop-up surveys as well as other pop-ups then your computer is definitely infected with adware, PUPs and maybe even some dangerous malware. It's nothing new, scammers ten to monetize infected PCs in every possible way, so they may drop adware modules to display ads and online surveys. But most of the time, it's an adware infection. Although adware is technically speaking a form of software, it actually falls under the umbrella of malware – short for malicious software – which probably gives you an inkling that although adware is downloaded on to your computer to show you survey popups, it may not be as friendly or as welcome as it may at first appears.
Some adware may show you fairly noninvasive pop-up surveys on a web page however, the type of nuisance more often associated with adware is the irritating pop up windows which appear no matter what you are working on or browsing. For example, once my computer was infected with malware that displayed pop ups saying to take a survey for that site. This malware changed survey's name to match the website's name. So, if I went to Pinterest.com, it would say Pinterest Visitor's Survey. Notice, the actual website is officialsurvey.org.
Of course, I have had quite a few survey popups that didn't look the same, mostly consumer surveys. For example, 2013 Annual Visitor Survey from iconsumer-surveys.com. As you can see, this infection is not the same for everyone.
What is more, adware that causes these annoying pop-ups also spies on you and monitors what you are doing and which websites you are browsing. It then uses this data to compile a personal profile on your internet usage habits and sends that (via your internet connection) back to its server so that the scammers can send you surveys that are tailor made for you. How nice of them!
Although adware and isn’t one of the most serious threats to your computer’s performance or security, because you are being exposed to dubious survey pop ups and adverts you can be left vulnerable to more serious attack. The reason that adware is seen as a threat and is classed as malware is, apart from the annoyance factor and the monitoring of your browsing habits, it can leave you open to more dangerous problems such as having your identity stolen or online bank account hacked.
But how can a frustrating but seemingly harmless survey popup window lead to a cyber-crime? The problem here is that some pop-up windows will send you to phishing websites. Phishing sites are websites that fool you into to giving away personal information such as your name and address, a log-in and password to a bank, eBay or social media account or even your credit card details.
So there is a little more to adware than meets the eye at first and pop ups can be dangerous. Therefore you should do all you can to avoid both survey popups and banners so that you limit the chance of you ending up on a website that has been created with the aim of getting you to divulge private data. The best way to do this is to download a reputable security software program that has solid all round protection. Having a simple anti-virus installed on your PC or laptop is always vital but one simple anti-virus may not be enough. You should download a number of programs that offer different protection or even complete packages which include a firewall, a pop up blocker and also a phishing filter.
Last, but not least, to prevent annoying survey popups and remove associated malware, please follow the removal instructions below. If your computer is infected then pop up blockers won't work, so please run a full malware scan with recommend anti-malware software. Questions and suggestions are always welcome. If you can't find what's causing popups, leave a comment below and I will try to help you. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
Survey popups removal instructions:
1. First of all, download recommended anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this adware infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this adware. Hopefully you won't have to do that that.
2. Remove survey popups related programs from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).
Go to the Start Menu. Select Control Panel → Add/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control Panel → Uninstall a Program.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".
Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.
3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
- Coupon Server
- and any other recently installed application
Simply select each application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.
Remove survey popups from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove the following extensions: (Click to enlarge image)
Remove survey popups from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to the following extensions. If you can't find the Remove button, then simply click on the Disable button.
Remove survey popups from Internet Explorer:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to Tools → Manage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.
2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Click Remove/Disable button to remove the browser add-ons listed above.