You must have seen some changes in your web browser when installing a new program. Have you ever wondered why? Maybe that might have brought you here to this article. The culprit behind those changes is a software called web companion.
In this article, we will discuss what is web companion, whether it is required or not and how to get rid of the software?
- What is a web companion?
- Do we really need it?
- How to disable and Uninstall the software if you don’t need it?
What is Web Companion Software on Your Computer?
Web companion is an antivirus-type program developed by Adaware (currently known as Lavasoft). Adaware/Lavasoft is a spyware and malware detection software developing company, launched in the year 1999. Shall we take a peek at the company profile?
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Web companion is a program designed to protect your computer from unwanted breaches and virus softwares. But the Program is in a list called PUA, which is Potentially Unwanted Application. The other names of the application are, Unwanted.3914, PUA: Win32/passion.A!ml, Riskware/web companion, Generic PUA CJ (PUA).
Now, Let’s check why it is listed under PUA-Potentially Unwanted Application and how it affects your computer.
- Installation: When you install a program bundle like a web browser, many unnecessary applications will get installed along with it, and you won’t even know it. Web companion is such a program, and it will get installed with web browser software. So during installation, the user will give all permission to the software to make necessary changes to your browser setting, which can even affect your system performance.
- Suspicious Coding: Independent study found a security feature in web companion, developed using Komodia Public SDK. The same coding is used for supervising, it is famous for an incident with Lenovo. Komodia Public SDKs make the system vulnerable to attacks and reduced the integrity. So this vulnerability is possible to your system because of web companion.
- Browser Settings: When you permit to alter system settings, the software will decide which search to use, which browser to use (usual bing), which should be the opening page in the browser, new tab URL, when you search new tabs may open, your search portal will act weird. Also, the software will track your cookies; data would be sold to third parties.
- Ownership: Not many details are available regarding the owners of the company, which is highly suspicious.
- HTTP: Web companion has an old HTTP extension, which is considered as unsafe by major browsers.
- Phishing Scams: Cybercrime is designed to trick the user into relieving all the sensitive information ( bank OTP, username password) by showing an appealing reward. Web companion is a pavement for those scams to reach your doorstep.
- Pop-Ups: Users will receive numerous notifications and pop-ups during usage. Notifications like “your computer is at threat and upgrade to premium and secure your computer” will be pop up now and then. This doesn’t even have an expiry date. The user experience is compromised, and the user can get irritated.
Another drawback of the software is that it doesn’t have a proper method to uninstall. We will check on how to disable the software later in this article.
Do You Really Need the Software?
No, you don’t need the Web Companion software to have a safe computing experience. You can always download a free version of a reputed Anti-Virus like Kespersky, Avast, Norton, etc.
Additionally, your system is always protected by your Operating System’s built-in security and threat detector. However, to have an additional layer of protection consider getting a well-known antivirus software.
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Web companion is free antivirus software, and it can detect significant threats in your system. Surprisingly, 53% of the users belong to the USA and others from Germany and the UK. My advice is to delete the software. Almost 20% of the users delete the software.
How to Uninstall Web Companion Software?
Let’s see how we can disable or uninstall the program on various platforms. You can’t drag and put it in the recycle bin, as it may leave behind some traces. As I have mentioned earlier, the program doesn’t give a good road map to uninstall the software from your system.
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So I am listing few methods of uninstalling it from various platforms. The following steps are used to delete the files from
- First, we have to open program files in C drive – c:\program file (x86).
- On the window, you will find the Lavasoft folder click “shift + delete” one after the other.
- Click yes to confirm
- To open the registry editor, press the windows symbol on your keyboard and press “R.”
- Now press control and F and type web companion.
- Click all the boxes for keys, and values click on OK, and delete all the files that appear as a search result.
- Open utilities and click on activity monitor. You may find web companion-related files running. You may stop their running by forcefully quitting the activities.
- Now go to activities, search for suspicious names ( mentioned earlier) and move to trash. In order to remove the attached files, Companion simply clicks on login preferences in accounts. Mac will show you programs that run when you log in. Check for suspicious files in the list.
- In order to remove the files, go to finder, type the file which you found suspicious on the search bar, select system files, and all are included in the dropdown. If you find all the programs suspicious, then select all files and move to trash. NB: all the files may not be linked to web companion. So care should be given in choosing which file to delete.
If you didn’t find files related to web companion, then you can follow the below steps:
- Open Folders, then type “/Library/launch agent/”and click OK and delete all files which you find similar to web companion.
To remove Web companion from google chrome:
Open Google chrome- go-to tools- extension- find the unwanted extensions and delete them. Restart chrome.
There you go, web companion is deleted from your system. Now restart your computer. The software will be gone from your system.
You can also delete the software by simply downloading combo cleaner. The software is an automatic malware removal software.
Can we actually prevent the software from ever entering our system?
Yes, actually, you can. You just need to be careful, that’s all.
- When you install a program in the system, check for all the software that is getting installed with it. You may deselect unwanted applications and complete the installation process.
- Avoid installing applications through a third party or unethical channel to get the crack version. Always use the official portal or methods to install any application.
So if you be a bit careful, you can actually avoid any sort of PUA.
Even though Web companion is malware detecting software, unethical installation through third-party websites can cause it to do the opposite of what it is meant to be. More than 33% of installations are currently functioning worldwide.
The software will act as a parasite to your device and act invisible when you work on your pc, distributing your work. I hope this article was helpful to you. Stay safe.