Web Companion refers to an unwanted program. It is installed as an extension to your existing web browser. The installation takes place without your knowledge and intrudes with the performance of other installed apps. It distributes advertising and shows coupons, banners and links pointing to sponsored sites.
In this article, we will talk about what is Ad-Aware Web Companion, what is Lavasoft Web Companion, how Ad-Aware Web Companion can harm your computer, the ways of uninstalling Web Companion, etc. Read on for a close look at the world of Web Companion.
What is Web Companion?
Attributed to Lavasoft, the Web Companion software program/tool comes free of cost. The most prevalent version of this product is 2.1.1265.2535. More than 54 per cent of all installations are using this version currently. Quite commonly used in Germany and the United Kingdom, the Web Companion, boasts of 53 per cent of its users belonging to the United States of America.
The Web Companion supposedly offers protection to internet surfers from data tracking, malicious websites, phishing scams and advertisements. It has managed to replace the popular Ad-Aware Security Toolbar since 2014. Overall, it has created a sound position for itself and has a successful rating as far as user-experience is concerned.
However, in return for the tool’s promise of ‘secure browsing’, users have to grapple with the issues of browser hijacking, cunning installation, malicious advertising and unprompted data tracking. Users and customers have to pay a hefty price for the unsolicited appearance of Web Companion on their web browser.
On the right side, Web Companion is capable of securing the settings of your web browser against unauthorised changes. It serves as a robust buffering agent between malicious sites and the browser. For instance, Ad-Aware Web Companion claims to provide safer and lighter browsing experiences.
It also claims to complement your antivirus and provide protection to the browser against malware and virus attacks. It does so by flagging malware right at the URL level, even before it gets a chance to download on your computer.
Why is Web Companion Dangerous?
Web Companion - the internet security tool, uses the older HTTP extension for its official website. It does not have HTTPS certificates to its credit. This old extension is marked as “not secure” by most browsers, primarily, Google Chrome. In all probability, being a free tool, the program may not have the funds to invest in safer encrypting protocols.
Browser hijacking is another problem faced by the users of Web Companion. Once it is installed, your default web browser will be changed to Bing. In case you manage to replace your old browser the first time, the web Companion will keep asking you to change the settings until it stops after the third try.
Earlier on, Lavasoft was known to use Komodia SSL Digester – the feature attributed to the Superfish scandal - in the operation of Web Companion. As per experts, Komodia SSL Digester overpowers your browser’s security. It is designed to read encrypted websites and push advertisements into them.
The most dangerous controversy attributed to web companion is that its policy states that Lavasoft reserves the right to pass on ‘non-personal’ data of users to third-parties. Therefore, anything posted by you on public platforms cannot be rated as being secure and confidential after Web Companion gets installed on your browser. Your personal information can be shared with the program’s parent and affiliate companies, along with third parties - as mentioned earlier.
Web Companion’s EULA further states that Lavasoft can collect data about your operating system (bit architecture, version, release, etc.). It can come in the way of your installed applications (install source, location, display name, version, etc.). Additionally, it has the potential of impacting the IP and services on your Windows adversely.
How does Ad-Aware Web Companion Install Itself on Your Device?
Lavasoft’s Web Companion may have been installed either accidentally or intentionally by you. You may have installed the product believing that it would ensure safe browsing experiences and protect your system from viral threats, malware and intrusions. Conversely, you may have installed it without any knowledge of doing so.
Either way, you will have to face the consequences of having Web Companion installed on your browser.
1. During setup, this tool creates a registration start-up point in Windows. This allows for an automatic start as and when you boot your PC.
2. Once installed, Web Companion includes a Windows Service that runs without fail in the background. Manual stopping of the service causes the program to malfunction. A background controller service is also added that runs automatically in the background.
3. It is possible to delay the start of the controller service via the service manager.
4. A scheduled task gets added to the Windows Task Scheduler by the Web Companion. It launches the program at scheduled times, depending on the release/version).
5. The primary executable is referred to as Lavasoft.AdAware.dll.
6. The program’s setup package is known to install about 58 files that are approximately 11.75 MB (12,316,583 bytes) in size.
7. Most users of Web Companion are using Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 10 rather than other operating platforms.
How to Uninstall Web Companion?
It is possible to uninstall Web Companion virus through the Add/Remove Program feature available in the Control Panel of your Windows Operating System.
1. Click on the Start menu (Windows 10 users can right-click on the bottom-left corner of their screen to activate the Start Menu).
2. Click on the Control Panel option, then find Programs.
3. Perform either of the following tasks
- Windows Vista/7/8/10 users: Click on “Uninstall a Program.”
- Windows XP users: Click on “Add or Remove Programs.”
4. Once you find the installed Web Companion program, click to choose it.
5. Perform one of the following options:
- Windows Vista/7/8/10 users: Click on Uninstall.
- Windows XP users: Click on the “Remove or Change/Remove” option (found on the right-hand side of the program).
6. Go on following the prompts.
7. You will see a progress bar that will tell you the time left for uninstalling Web Companion.
You have to know how to terminate Web Companion Lavasoft to steer clear of its potential dangers. However, as per statistics, only 20 per cent of users go ahead and uninstall this program. Isn’t that surprising? Even though it provides for the additional detection of malware and malicious sites, it is recommended that you uninstall it for the safety of your data. Remember, most antivirus programs like this one are sophisticated enough; they have the right tools and designs to update their databases consistently with your records. Beware.
Fortunately, you can easily remove Ad-Aware Web Companion by logging into the Programs section of the Control Platform. Its Uninstall button will help you go about the activities smoothly. You can also take care of the overriding of your current web browser with Bing by going through a few steps. You may like to opt for automatic malware removal apps like Reimage, Malwarebytes, Spyhunter, or others in the list, to go about the activities smoothly.
Whatever you do, remember, Lavasoft Web Companion shouldn’t be allowed to remain on your PC longer than required – it will do you much more harm than good!