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Remove Potential threats detected (Virus Removal Instructions) - Tech Support Scam

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

Potential threats detected is a scam alert targeting Mac OS users

Potential threats detected pop-up scam

Potential threats detected is a pop-up notification that alerts Mac OS X users about critical system's status and urges to download a security tool to fix it. It claims that the system is heavily damaged and indicates the harm in percentage. Potential threats detected pop-up typically points out a Trojan infection,[1] though adware, keyloggers, spyware, and other cyber threats might be listed. Do not fall for downloading the promoted application because the Potential threats detected is a scam[2] that seeks to foist useless or even dangerous application.

Name “Potential threats detected”
Classification Adware
Sub-category Tech-support-scam
Symptoms Web browser keeps redirecting to a website saying “Potential threats detected”
OS targeted Mac OS X
Distribution Bundling, suspicious websites

While cybersecurity community is used to scam alerts targeting Windows OS, Mac system is more and more frequently contaminated by tech-support alerts. “MAC Malware Warning Alert,” “Mac Detected TAPSNAKE infection,” and “Your Mac Might Be Infected” are just a few examples of the scam alerts targeting Mac users.

Potential threats detected alert might be triggered by two factors, i.e., adware infection or landing on an infected website. In case of the ad-supported app being the case, web browser's settings are modified in a way to redirect users to Potential threats detected website regularly. Usually, the scam locks the screen, so that the user has only two options – to click on the “Free scan now” button or force close the web browser.

The warning looks quite professional and might trick less experienced users into believing that the Mac OS system has been infected. The Potential threats detected virus says:

Potential threats detected!
Your Mac is heavily damaged (34,56%). Personal and banking information is at risk.
To avoid more damage click on 'San now' immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!. Update your PC and eliminate potential threats.
Free Scan Now

The tech-support-scam developers claim security software like Norton and McAfee to be affiliates without authorization. Dieviren.de[3] cybersecurity researchers notify that such claims are false. Reputable security developers to not spread pop-up alerts online or otherwise foist their software downloads.

By clicking on the “Free scan now” button, the unsuspecting Mac's user permits to download and install third-party software, which may eventually turn out to be a potentially unwanted program or virus.

Therefore, in case your web browser started initiating redirects to the scam website, download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego and run a full system scan with it to remove Potential threats detected virus.

Potential threats detected removal could also be initiated manually. For this purpose, you should check the list of recently installed apps and eliminate those you are not familiar with. If you are not sure which ones have to be eliminated, initiate online research on them. After that, check Mac's libraries to related files.

Potential threats detected rogue alertPotential threats detected is a misleading pop-up message that is distributed for the sole purpose - to trick Mac users into downloading suspicious programs.

Adware distributors rely on bundling

Adware-type and other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) may be distributed directly, i.e. they may have official websites or may even be spread on sources like Google Play Store. Nonetheless, PUP developers most frequently rely on bundling, meaning that unwanted programs are attached to other freeware as optional downloads.

By selecting Quick or Basic installation setups, device users inadvertently give permission to download each additional component, be it a toolbar or add-on.

IT specialists remind Mac users to be extremely careful with freeware and do not rush the installation. Before downloading one, make a research on it, read reviews, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Besides, always opt for Custom or Advanced installation to unpack the bundle.

Last, but not least, do not trust pop-ups that emerge during web browsing and report the status of your device. There's no such tool as a “Free online scanner.” The same applies to software update prompts. If you believe that your system is at risk, download updates from trusted sources or scan the system with a reputable security tool.

Get rid of Potential threats detected pop-up

Potential threats detected virus is more intrusive than dangerous. However, it may trigger continuous web browser's freezes and trick people into downloading useless or even dangerous tools, such as rogue anti-spyware or system's optimizer.

To prevent unwanted downloads, remove Potential threats detected scam from your web browser using a reputable anti-malware program.

Those opting for manual Potential threats detected removal could follow step-by-step instructions that are provided down below but don't forget that the smallest component left intact may reinstall the adware and repeatedly hijack the web browser.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, 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.

To remove Potential threats detected, follow these steps:

Uninstall Potential threats detected from Windows systems

To remove Potential threats detected from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Potential threats detected (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Remove Potential threats detected from Mac OS X system

The following guide explains how to get rid of adware infection from Mac:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Potential threats detected from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Potential threats detected-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Potential threats detected, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Potential threats detected and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Potential threats detected-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Potential threats detected from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Potential threats detected and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Potential threats detected removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Potential threats detected 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 Potential threats detected-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Eliminate Potential threats detected 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 plugins that are related to Potential threats detected and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case Potential threats detected did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete Potential threats detected removal.Reset Firefox 2

Erase Potential threats detected 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 Potential threats detected 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Potential threats detected-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 to complete Potential threats detected removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall Potential threats detected from Safari

If Safari keeps redirecting you to a domain, which shows a “Potential threats detected” alert, eliminate adware from the system and then initiate the following steps to restore Safari's settings.

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Potential threats detected 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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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