These days it seems like we’re targeted by a never ending stream of computer viruses, types of malicious software and unwanted software such as strange toolbars that have suddenly appeared on our PC’s or laptops. But how do these pests find their way on to our systems and what can we do to protect ourselves from them?
No two viruses or pieces of malware are the same which is why it is vital that you have a reputable and known brand of anti-virus software installed on your machine as this is definitely your best way of stopping infections in their tracks before they can do any damage. It will also pick up Potentially Unwanted Programs such as the PUP.Optional.Conduit.A which although not technically a virus is still something that will cause problems for both you and your computer.
Potentially Unwanted Programs are annoying for a number of reasons. They will install adware on your PC meaning that you’ll be plagued by dozens of irritating pop up adverts for websites and products you probably have little or no interest in and they can also hijack your browser and install unasked for tool bars. In this case, it will install Conduit toolbar and change your default search engine to search.conduit.com. A tool bar that you didn’t ask for is rarely useful and serves to do little more than to confuse you and change the appearance of the browser that you know and use on a daily basis. Furthermore some tool bars have the ability to install even more unwanted software and can redirect you to websites that the programmer wants you to visit instead of the sites that you are trying to go to.
So how did the PUP.Optional.Conduit.A become installed on your computer in the first place? Well unfortunately it is very likely that you are responsible. Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUP’s, are normally bundled with other types of software or programs so whether you’re downloading the latest episode of your favorite TV show or you’re installing a PDF document writer on your PC you may well also be installing a PUP at the same time. So what can you do about this and how do you make sure you’re not unwittingly infecting yourself with a PUP or something even more dangerous?
As mentioned, you should never be using your computer without an anti-virus program but you can also help protect yourself by paying a little more attention to what you download. If a website looks dodgy and you have misgivings about downloading something from it, trust your gut instinct and steer clear of it. You should also be paying attention to the end user license agreement that appears whenever you download something. Because malware and PUPs come packaged with other programs the EULA should make reference to them. Therefore don’t just click ‘OK’ or ‘Continue’ but go through the agreement carefully and un-tick any boxes that have already been ticked saying you want to install ‘added extras’ as well as making sure you’re not opting in for something that you don’t want. If your computer is already infected with PUP.Optional.Conduit.A, please follow the removal instructions below. This PUP might not be the only malware installed on your computer. Very often it comes bundled with other adware and even spyware.
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
PUP.Optional.Conduit.A removal instructions:
1. Download recommended anti-malware software and run a full system scan to remove PUP.Optional.Conduit.A and associated malware from your computer.
2. Remove potentially unwanted extensions from your web browser.
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon and remove the extensions that might be causing Chitka pop ups. Basically, remove all extensions that you didn't install. It's perfectly OK to remove all extensions since by default Google Chrome comes without any extensions.
1. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Remove all extensions that you didn't install. Please note, by default Firefox comes without any extensions.
1. Go to Tools → Manage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.
2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Remove all add-ons that you didn't install or you believe may cause those annoying pop-ups to show up.
3. Download CCleaner and tidy up your computer, remove temp files, etc.