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What is ads? uses fake alerts to make users enable notifications is a malicious website that should be avoided

If you have spotted pop-ups on your screen showing up randomly, you shouldn't panic. There are hundreds of people who encountered the exact same problem and are not sure what it is being caused by. The truth is, that the issue is caused by push notifications that you allowed to be shown via the website at some point before.

In order for this to happen, website authors use a variety of schemes, starting from how users get to scam pages. Crooks usually rely on adware installed on the system to direct users to, as well as malicious websites that host their links. Thus, users who often visit torrents, X-rated, illegal video streaming, and similar sites are more likely to encounter the scam after being redirected to it.

Once they reach the landing page, they are shown one of the versions of the scam. For example, visitors might be told that there's a movie to be shown, and they need to press the “Allow” button in order to view it. Those who oblige and agree to do it don't immediately realize what they have done, although they don't get to see the movie either because the website has no other content than the request to enable notifications.

Depending on the website used, push notification prompt might not be that apparent immediately – Google Chrome users are more likely to be victims only due to the wording the browser uses. Nonetheless, even if you use MS Edge, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox, the result of such action would always be the same – intrusive and malicious ads would be shown directly on users' screens, regardless of what they are doing at the time.

We provide all the necessary information about this social engineering attack and will explain to you how to get rid of the annoying push notifications, all while making your PC security much better.

Type Push notifications, ads, pop-ups, scam
Distribution Desktop notifications start showing up in particular time intervals after clicking on the “Allow” button upon the site entry
Symptoms Push notifications show on the desktop at random time intervals. These popups show fake notices and push scams. Links can also lead to malware-laden sites
Dangers You might suffer from monetary losses, install malware or potentially unwanted programs, or disclose sensitive data to cybercrooks
REmoval You can stop the unwanted notifications by accessing web browser settings, as explained in the instructions below. If you suspect adware infection, you should use SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software to eliminate it quickly
Further steps Cleaning web browsers is just as important when dealing with potentially unwanted programs, so do so by following the instructions below or using FortectIntego instead

Push notification scams are getting more advanced

Online scams have been around for almost as long as the internet itself, as cybercriminals quickly realized that the worldwide web can be very much anonymous, which makes it perfect to do illegal business on. While email spam and malicious websites were some of the most popular places for malware and phishing, nowadays, there are plenty of pages that fall into the gray area – push notification scams are one of those.

While they are not usually inherently malicious, they are created for one and only purpose – to scam users. While the push notification feature itself is not malicious, crooks quickly realized that it could be used to push ads to users and the fact that some of them don't know how to get rid of them makes it even more convenient.

The scam is relatively simple – people are shown something that might interest them and then asked to enable notifications to receive it. While previously simply pictures were used (for example, a GIF showing a loading video), seems to go a bit further, making the scam more elaborate.

Instead of showing a fake video picture, users might see an intro of a popular movie studio one sees before watching it. Allegedly, people have to click the “Allow” button in order to proceed with watching the movie. In other cases, they might be told that they have won an iPhone and they have won. fake plays an intro of an alleged movie and promises the rest after the "Allow" button is pressed

It seems like scammers are putting more effort into appealing to a wider audience with various themes. This should motivate users to be more vigilant online, as it shows that crooks are ready to adapt and improve their techniques to find more victims. To avoid this, always keep in mind that the “Allow” button within the notification prompt will always result in the same outcome – you'd allow that particular website to deliver information to you at any time.

If you have already allowed ads to be shown, you can get rid of them relatively easily. Below you will find all the details on how to do just that.

Step 1. Remove notifications

Anti-virus software would not help you with the removal of these annoying pop-ups, as they are technically not related to any infections, even if they might be present on your system. You have to access browser settings and remove's access to deliver you notifications – follow the steps below.

Google Chrome (desktop):

  1. Open Google Chrome browser and go to Menu > Settings.
  2. Scroll down and click on Advanced.
  3. Locate Privacy and security section and pick Site Settings > Notifications.
  4. Look at the Allow section and look for a suspicious URL.
  5. Click the three vertical dots next to it and pick Block. This should remove unwanted notifications from Google Chrome.Stop notifications on Chrome PC 2

Google Chrome (Android):

  • Open Google Chrome and tap on Settings (three vertical dots).
  • Select Notifications.
  • Scroll down to the Sites section.
  • Locate the unwanted URL and toggle the button to the left (Off setting).Stop notifications on Chrome Android

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and go to Menu > Options.
  2. Click on Privacy & Security section.
  3. Under Permissions, you should be able to see Notifications. Click the Settings button next to it.
  4. In the SettingsNotification Permissions window, click on the drop-down menu by the URL in question.
  5. Select Block and then click on Save Changes. This should remove unwanted notifications from Mozilla Firefox.Stop notifications on Mozilla Firefox 2

MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge, and go to Settings.
  2. Select Site permissions.
  3. Go to Notifications on the right.
  4. Under Allow, you will find the unwanted entry.
  5. Click on More actions and select Block.Stop notifications on Edge Chromium


  1. Click on Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to the Websites tab and, under General, select Notifications.
  3. Select the web address in question, click the drop-down menu and select Deny.Stop notifications on Safari

Step 2. Check for adware

One might not even suspect that adware might be running in the background due to several reasons. First of all, potentially unwanted programs are commonly distributed using deceptive techniques that make people install them unintentionally, for example:

  • Software bundles. During the installation of new applications, users rarely pay attention to the process – they rush through steps, don't read the instructions, etc. This is something that PUP developers and distributors are well aware of, and thus using software bundling to make people install apps they otherwise wouldn't. To avoid being a victim, you should always pick the Advanced/Custom installation settings instead of Recommended/Quick ones, remove ticks from pre-ticked boxes, read the fine print, and always be attending during the whole process.
  • Deceptive ads can be encountered online while browsing the web at any time. Users are often told that their systems are infected and need fixing or that something is out of date and they need to update it. In other words, people are just getting frightened to make them believe that the promoted software is necessary for one reason or another. Some places are more prone to have them, while others can cause unexpected redirects after a link is clicked. To minimize the risks, employ ad-blocking extensions and avoid high-risk sites like torrents.

The reason adware might be involved is that it causes users to encounter ads more frequently (ads that don't originate on the visited site) and sometimes cause unexpected browser redirects. In fact, online scams like are intertwined closely, so it is not uncommon for one lead to another. virusUsers might be promised an expensive gift, such as iPhone

Thus, if you have spotted unexpected ads, notifications, homepage changes, or other suspicious behavior, you should immediately scan your system for adware. You can do that either by checking the list of the installed apps in the Control Panel (Windows) or Applications folder (Mac), as well as removing all browser extensions, or instead allowing SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another security tool to take care of the problem for you.

After that, we strongly advise you to remove various cache and leftover files from your browser, as the remnants might continue the unwanted activity, including data tracking and showing of ads. You can employ FortectIntego to make this process quicker, although you can also refer to our instructions below to do it manually.

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If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of ads. Follow these steps

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

How to prevent from getting adware

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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