5 steps to protect Google Chrome from malware, adware and crapware

Chrome, being one of the most popular browsers, is target for malware, adware and every kind of crapware there is. Most average users dont even realize that all this crap is on their browsers. Here is a quick guide to securing your browser for a safe a pleasant browsing experience.

1. AdBlock Plus

Adblock Plus is the best ad blocker available. Most crapware is installed on the browser when users unintentionally click misleading link on various websites. This smart extension eliminates that problem by blocking all ads on the web page resulting in a cleaner browsing experience.

AdBlock plus blocks all advertising. This is a good thing when browsing some shady downloading websites but they also block advertising on legitimate websites. A lot of websites rely on revenues from advertising to keep them up and running and this plugin deprives them of precious ad impressions leading to a loss in ad revenues. Do consider disabling the extension on you favourite websites by clicking on the ABP icon on the top right of the screen next to the address bar.

If you search for the extension on the chrome webstore, you will find a bunch of extension that look like Adblock Plus but are actually ad injectors that fill your web pages with ads making them unusable. Follow the link below to install the correct version of the plugin.

Download AdBlock Plus

Once installed, click the menu button on the top right next to the address bar click on Settings>Extensions. Locate AdBlock Plus in the list of extensions and check the box labelled — “Allow in incognito”. This helps protect your browsing in the incognito sessions of chrome as well.

2. Remove unwanted chrome extensions

A lot of ad injectors manifest in the form extensions. They may get installed without you even noticing and wreak havoc on web pages by injecting obtrusive ads on the page.

Visit Settings > Extensions and delete all extensions that you did not install yourself. Don’t worry about deleting something important because unless you specifically installed it yourself, its most probably some form of crapware. BE RUTHLESS!

3. Reset default home page

A common technique used by ad spammers is to replace the defalut start page of google chrome to point to some random page which hosts ads or may be a phishing attack. To avoid this, visit — Menu > Settings and locate the “On Startup” section. Over here, there are 3 options as highlighted in the image above. If your browser is affected by this spam attack, most likely, the third option will be selected — “Open a specific set of pages”. I recommend changing this option to “Open the New Tab Page”.

4. Reset default search engine

Another common technique used by ad spammers is to change the default search engine. Ask.com and Sweetim are notorious for doing this. To solve this issue, visit — Menu > Settings and navigate down to the “Search” option. Here you can reset the default search engine to Google and delete all other unwanted search engines.

5. Run ADW Cleaner on Windows PCs

ADW Cleaner is a fantastic utility to help clean up windows PCs and ris them to hidden malware, adware crapware and the lot. Click here to download the official latest version of the tool and run it to complete the final step in crapware prevention.

I hope this guide was useful and helped you have a cleaner browsing experience while plugging potential security threats as well. Do let me know if there are any more forms of adware i have missed and i will include it in the guide. Cheers and happy browsing.

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Originally published at residentnerdreviews.wordpress.com on June 13, 2015.

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