What is Protectutility.info?
Protectutility.info is one of the sites promoting the Your PC is infected with 5 viruses scam. The scam masquerades as a McAfee (Norton, Kaspersky or Avira) system scan, displays fake scan results and virus alerts claiming that a computer is infected with five viruses. Scammers use fake virus alerts to trick users into downloading or purchasing software they don’t need.
Usually, users end up on Protectutility.info and similar scams by going to a misspelled URL or, clicking on a fake link from push notifications and spam emails. In addition, they can be redirected to this scam by malicious advertisements (malvertising) and Adware. Adware can be installed unknowingly when visiting malware-infested websites or downloading pirated versions of software.
Protectutility.info Scam in detail
Typically, scam sites first check the user’s IP address to determine their geolocation. By determining the location of the user, scammers can use various social engineering techniques, change the page language or redirect the user to other malicious and scam sites.
In this particular case, the scam masquerades as McAfee Antivirus interface, performs a fake scan and displays fake scan results. It states that the computer is infected with 5 viruses (security risks).
The scam instructs users to click the “Proceed..” or “Renew License” button to renew their subscription and protect the computer, as an unprotected computer is vulnerable to viruses and malware. After clicking, users are redirected to a legitimate McAfee website offering to purchase the McAfee license. Scammers behind this scam earn a commission for each purchased McAfee subscription. Of course, McAfee and other antivirus companies do not allow affiliates to promote their products using social engineering tricks, misleading methods, and deceptive advertising. However, despite this ban, scammers continue to advertise McAfee and other antivirus companies’ products.
Protectutility.info promotes legitimate software, but such sites are more often used to distribute untrustworthy and unreliable programs among which may be fake antivirus software, spyware, trojans, browser hijackers, adware and other malicious software; this is described in more detail in this article.
In addition, Protectutility.info asks visitors to allow it to display browser notifications. If enabled, this site will deliver notifications promoting untrustworthy/dangerous pages, various types of scams, and even malware.
Here are some examples of the scam notifications (fake alerts, messages from fake dating sites):
|Type||scam, phishing, fake virus alerts|
|Fake claims||Your PC is infected with 5 viruses, Your McAfee subscription has expired|
|Removal||Protectutility.info removal guide|
Examples of such scams
McAfee SECURITY ALERT, Your PC Might Be Vulnerable, Your Personal Information is Exposed, Your McAfee Subscription Has Expired are other scams designed to trick visitors into installing untrustworthy software or calling fake tech support.
Where did Protectutility.info scam pop-ups come from?
The Protectutility.info pop-ups are caused by malicious advertisements on websites you visit, spam push notifications or Adware. Browser (push) notifications are originally developed to alert the user of recently published news. Scammers use push notifications to bypass pop up blockers and display lots of unwanted ads.
Adware is a form of malicious software that displays unwanted advertisements on a personal computer, redirects search queries to scam pages, and collects sensitive information for marketing purposes. Adware may display banner ads, full-screen ads, pop-ups, videos, or other forms of online advertising. You may think that ads or pop-ups are just a small problem. But these intrusive advertisements consume system resources and slow down your PC.
Typically, adware ends up on personal computers bundled with freeware, malicious downloads, fake updates, shared files, and other unsafe software downloaded by users from the Internet. Adware authors pay software creators to distribute adware in their software. To avoid installing any adware: choose only the option of manual, custom or advanced installation and disable any third-party applications that you are not sure about.
How to protect against Protectutility.info scam
To avoid becoming a victim of scammers, it is important to always keep in mind:
- There are no sites that can detect viruses and other security threats.
- Never install/purchase software promoted by suspicious sites, as it can be useless, and besides, it can be dangerous for you and your computer.
- Close Protectutility.info as soon as it appears on your computer screen. Scammers can prevent you from closing it in various ways. In such cases, close your browser using Task Manager or restart your computer. If the next time you launch the browser, it prompts you to restore the previous session, abandon it, otherwise this scam will reopen on your screen.
- Use an ad blocker when browsing the internet. It can block known scam sites and protect you from scammers.
How to remove Protectutility.info pop-ups (Adware removal instructions)
We can help you remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from your browsers without the need to contact an IT technician. Just follow the removal instructions below. If you find it difficult to get rid scam pop-ups on your browser, feel free to contact us for help in the comments section below. Some steps will require you to restart your computer or exit this web page. So, read this guide carefully and then bookmark this page or open it on your smartphone for future reference.
To remove Protectutility.info, follow the steps below:
- Remove spam notifications
- Check the list of installed software
- Remove Protectutility.info pop up scam from Google Chrome
- Remove Protectutility.info from Mozilla Firefox
- Remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from Internet Explorer
- Automatic Removal of Adware
- Stop Protectutility.info pop-ups
The step-by-step guide will help you manually remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from your computer. If you have little experience in using computers, we advise that you use free adware removers listed below.
Remove spam notifications
If you are receiving spam notifications, then you have previously clicked the “Allow” button. Below we will teach you how to turn them off.
- Click on ‘three dots menu’ button at the top-right corner of the Google Chrome window.
- Select ‘Settings’, scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Advanced’.
- At the ‘Privacy and Security’ section click ‘Site settings’.
- Click on ‘Notifications’.
- Locate a malicious site and click the three vertical dots button next to it, then click on ‘Remove’.
- Open Chrome.
- Tap on the Menu button (three dots) on the top right corner of the screen.
- In the menu tap ‘Settings’, scroll down to ‘Advanced’.
- In the ‘Site Settings’, tap on ‘Notifications’, locate a scam URL and tap on it.
- Tap the ‘Clean & Reset’ button and confirm.
- In the top right corner, click the Firefox menu (three bars).
- In the drop-down menu select ‘Options’. In the left side select ‘Privacy & Security’.
- Scroll down to ‘Permissions’ section and click ‘Settings…’ button next to ‘Notifications’.
- Find suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select ‘Block’.
- Click ‘Save Changes’ button.
- Click the More button (three dots) in the top-right corner of the window.
- Scroll down, locate and click ‘Settings’. In the left side select ‘Advanced’.
- In the ‘Website permissions’ section click ‘Manage permissions’.
- Disable the on switch for scam domains.
- Click the Gear button on the top-right corner of the browser.
- Select ‘Internet options’.
- Click on the ‘Privacy’ tab and select ‘Settings’ in the pop-up blockers section.
- Locate a scam site and click the ‘Remove’ button to delete the site.
- Go to ‘Preferences’ in the Safari menu.
- Select the ‘Websites’ tab and then select ‘Notifications’ section on the left panel.
- Find a scam site and select it, click the ‘Deny’ button.
Check the list of installed software
The adware removal process is generally the same in all versions of Windows from 11 to XP. First you need to check the list of installed software on your computer and remove all unused, unknown and suspicious software.
|Windows 7||Windows 8|
|Windows 10||Mac OS|
Remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from Google Chrome
This step will show you how to restore your original Chrome browser settings. This can remove rogue pop-ups and fix some browsing issues, especially after adware infection. However, your topics, bookmarks, history, passwords, and web form autofill data will not be deleted.
- First start the Google Chrome and click Menu button (small button in the form of three dots).
- It will show the Google Chrome main menu. Choose More Tools, then press Extensions.
- You will see the list of installed add-ons. If the list has the extension labeled with “Installed by enterprise policy” or “Installed by your administrator”, then complete the following guide: Remove Chrome extensions installed by enterprise policy.
- Now open the Chrome menu once again, click the “Settings” menu.
- You will see the Google Chrome’s settings page. Scroll down and click “Advanced” link.
- Scroll down again and click the “Reset” button.
- The Chrome will display the reset profile settings page as shown on the image above.
- Next press the “Reset” button.
- Once this process is done, your web browser’s home page, newtab and search engine by default will be restored to their original defaults.
- To learn more, read the blog post How to reset Chrome settings to default.
Remove Protectutility.info from Mozilla Firefox
Resetting Mozilla Firefox will remove redirects to the Protectutility.info scam, fix changed settings, disable malicious extensions, and restore security settings altered by adware. However, your saved passwords and bookmarks will not be changed, deleted or cleared.
First, start the Mozilla Firefox. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will open the drop-down menu. Next, press the Help button ().
In the Help menu click the “Troubleshooting Information”. In the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page click on “Refresh Firefox” button like below.
Confirm your action, click the “Refresh Firefox”.
Remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from Internet Explorer
Resetting Internet Explorer is great if your browser is hijacked or you have unwanted add-ons or toolbars in your web browser installed by malware.
First, launch the Microsoft Internet Explorer, then click ‘gear’ icon . It will show the Tools drop-down menu on the right part of the internet browser, then click the “Internet Options” as shown on the image below.
In the “Internet Options” screen, select the “Advanced” tab, then click the “Reset” button. The Internet Explorer will display the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” dialog box. Further, click the “Delete personal settings” check box to select it. Next, click the “Reset” button as shown in the following example.
When the process is complete, click the “Close” button. Close Internet Explorer and restart your computer for the changes to take effect. This step will help you restore your browser settings to their default state.
Automatic Removal of Adware
The guide above is tedious and may not always help you remove adware and rogue pop-ups completely. Here I will tell you the automatic way to completely remove adware from your PC. Zemana, MalwareBytes, and Hitman Pro are anti-malware utilities that can find and remove all kinds of malware, including adware that causes scam pop-ups.
Remove Protectutility.info scam with MalwareBytes
We recommend using the MalwareBytes AntiMalware that are completely clean your PC of the adware software. The free utility is an advanced malicious software removal application developed by (c) Malwarebytes lab. This program uses the world’s most popular anti malware technology. It’s able to help you get rid of the Protectutility.info pop ups from your web browser, and remove PUPs, malware, hijackers, toolbars, ransomware and other security threats from your PC for free.
- Visit the page linked below to download the latest version of MalwareBytes for Microsoft Windows. Save it directly to your Microsoft Windows Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: April 15, 2020
- When the download is done, close all software and windows on your computer. Open a directory in which you saved it. Double-click on the icon that’s named MBsetup.
- Choose “Personal computer” option and click Install button. Follow the prompts.
- Once setup is finished, press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for adware and other malware. A system scan can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your personal computer. While the MalwareBytes Anti Malware utility is scanning, you can see how many objects it has identified as being infected by malware.
- After MalwareBytes completes the scan, it will open you the results. In order to remove all threats, simply click “Quarantine”. After finished, you can be prompted to restart your PC system.
The following video demonstrates how to use MalwareBytes to remove browser hijackers, adware and other malware.
Remove Protectutility.info pop-ups with Zemana
Zemana Anti Malware is a free malware removal tool for Windows OS that allows you to find and remove adware and other unwanted programs such as PUPs, malicious internet browser add-ons, browser toolbars.
- First, visit the page linked below, then click the ‘Download’ button in order to download the latest version of Zemana.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
- Once you have downloaded the install file, make sure to double click on the Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup. This would start the Zemana Anti Malware (ZAM) install on your device.
- Select installation language and press ‘OK’ button.
- On the next screen ‘Setup Wizard’ simply click the ‘Next’ button and follow the prompts.
- Finally, once the install is finished, Zemana Anti-Malware will open automatically. Else, if does not then double-click on the Zemana icon on your desktop.
- Now that you have successfully install Zemana, let’s see How to use Zemana to remove Protectutility.info pop up scam from your computer.
- After you have opened the Zemana AntiMalware, you will see a window as shown on the image below, just press ‘Scan’ button to perform a system scan with this tool for the adware.
- Now pay attention to the screen while Zemana Anti-Malware scans your PC.
- After the scan is finished, Zemana will show a screen that contains a list of malicious software that has been detected. In order to remove all items, simply click ‘Next’ button.
- Zemana may require a restart computer in order to complete the malware removal process.
- If you want to permanently delete adware from your personal computer, then click ‘Quarantine’ icon, select all malicious software, adware, potentially unwanted applications and other items and press Delete.
- Reboot your computer to complete the removal process.
Remove Protectutility.info pop-ups from browsers with HitmanPro
HitmanPro is a free removal tool. It removes potentially unwanted applications, adware, browser hijackers, and unwanted web browser extensions. It will detect and remove adware causing Protectutility.info pop-ups. Hitman Pro uses very small PC resources and is portable program. What’s more, Hitman Pro adds another layer of malware protection.
First, click the following link, then click the ‘Download’ button in order to download the latest version of HitmanPro.
Category: Security tools
Update: June 28, 2018
When downloading is done, open the file location and double-click the Hitman Pro icon. It will launch the Hitman Pro utility. If the User Account Control prompt will ask you want to run the program, press Yes button to continue.
Next, press “Next” . Hitman Pro will scan through the whole computer for adware software, the scan can take anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. When a threat is found, the count of the security threats will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is finished.
As the scanning ends, it will open the Scan Results like below.
Once you have selected what you want to remove from your PC press “Next” button. It will open a dialog box, click the “Activate free license” button. Hitman Pro will remove adware related to scam popups and move the selected threats to the Quarantine. Once the clean-up is finished, the tool may ask you to restart your device.
Stop Protectutility.info pop-ups
Use an ad blocking program like AdGuard to stop unwanted ads, malvertisements, pop-ups and online trackers, avoid installing malware and adware browser add-ons that affect your PC performance and impact your PC security. Browse the World Wide Web anonymously and stay safe online!
Visit the following page to download AdGuard. Save it on your Windows desktop.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading it, double-click the downloaded file to launch it. The “Setup Wizard” window will show up on the computer screen as displayed on the image below.
Follow the prompts. AdGuard will then be installed and an icon will be placed on your desktop. A window will show up asking you to confirm that you want to see a quick tutorial as shown in the figure below.
Press “Skip” button to close the window and use the default settings, or click “Get Started” to see an quick guidance which will allow you get to know AdGuard better.
Each time, when you start your computer, AdGuard will start automatically and stop unwanted advertisements, block Protectutility.info scam, as well as other malicious or misleading sites. For an overview of all the features of the program, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, that is located on your desktop.
To sum up
We hope this article helped you learn more about the Protectutility.info Scam and avoid the scammers’ tricks. If you have questions or additional information for our readers, please leave a comment.