Everything You Need To Know About The Four Virus

Everything You Need To Know About The Four Virus

Image source: Pixabay.com

Some websites will launch pop-up windows containing helpful or useful information or asking you to subscribe to a mailing list or to be notified of updates. Some, through clever programming, even manage to do this despite the various pop-up blockers people may have installed on their computers. While at worst this is a momentary annoyance, it can sometimes be beneficial. There are, however, other sites that display bogus or misleading alerts intended to frighten us into purchasing software or services that we wouldn’t otherwise even consider. A pop-up known as the Four Virus is just such an alert.

The Four Virus alert masquerades as a helpful system window, displaying when we least expect it, usually while the targeted victim is idly browsing the web. The truth is, it’s anything but helpful. It’s part of an elaborate, but legal, scam intended to coerce computer users into spending money through deceitful and misleading means. In his article, we’ll explain what the Four Virus is, how you eliminate it from your computer, and how to take steps to avoid it and other malicious pop-ups like it.

What Is the Four Virus?

The Four Virus isn’t actually a virus at all. Rather, it’s a kind of adware, or intrusive, pop-up advertising that, while legal, is shady at best. Adware can be software that installs itself on your system, usually by piggy-backing along with free applications or games that unwary computer users download intentionally. It can also, as in this case, take the form of a pop-up web browser window intended to trick the viewer into thinking it’s an alert from their computer, and part of their operating system.

Adware is intended to generate revenue for anyone who distributes it, whether that be through an add-on in otherwise useful or entertaining software or through a web browser pop-up. Adware usually advertises software or services that the user wouldn’t ordinarily consider, and such is the case with this so-called “virus.”

The Four Virus is a type of adware that is intended to frighten the user into purchasing expensive and useless software: software that, in many cases, will expose their computer to exactly the sort of threat it claims to be guarding against or be a remedy for. The pop-up is embedded by dishonest website operators who likely earn a small percentage of the total profit it generates, as people do fall for this dirty trick because they’re concerned for the integrity of their computer system or the safety of their data.

Though the message varies, it always takes the form of something like a window displaying a flashing alert message that “Your System Is Heavily Damaged By (4) Virus.” It’s not only misleading, it’s entirely false; and the easiest way to avoid it is by ignoring it. It may sometimes come with the “detail” that “because of recently visited adult websites,” the user’s system has become infected and needs specialized software to restore. Regardless of the kind of website these users may or may not have visited, it’s known that most people fall victim to this cheap trick because they’re redirected by unscrupulous website operators.

This sets the stage for the unwitting user to, in good faith, install software that allows their system to be further infected with various other forms of adware, and in extreme cases may put them at risk of being attacked by an actual virus.

What Does the Four Virus Do?

Image source: Pixabay

The Four Virus isn’t actually a virus at all. Rather, it’s a kind of adware, or intrusive, pop-up advertising that, while legal, is shady at best. Adware can be software that installs itself on your system, usually by piggy-backing along with free applications or games that unwary computer users download intentionally. It can also, as in this case, take the form of a pop-up web browser window intended to trick the viewer into thinking it’s an alert from their computer, and part of their operating system.

Adware is intended to generate revenue for anyone who distributes it, whether that be through an add-on in otherwise useful or entertaining software or through a web browser pop-up. Adware usually advertises software or services that the user wouldn’t ordinarily consider, and such is the case with this so-called “virus.”

The Four Virus is a type of adware that is intended to frighten the user into purchasing expensive and useless software: software that, in many cases, will expose their computer to exactly the sort of threat it claims to be guarding against or be a remedy for. The pop-up is embedded by dishonest website operators who likely earn a small percentage of the total profit it generates, as people do fall for this dirty trick because they’re concerned for the integrity of their computer system or the safety of their data.

Though the message varies, it always takes the form of something like a window displaying a flashing alert message that “Your System Is Heavily Damaged By (4) Virus.” It’s not only misleading, it’s entirely false; and the easiest way to avoid it is by ignoring it. It may sometimes come with the “detail” that “because of recently visited adult websites,” the user’s system has become infected and needs specialized software to restore. Regardless of the kind of website these users may or may not have visited, it’s known that most people fall victim to this cheap trick because they’re redirected by unscrupulous website operators.

This sets the stage for the unwitting user to, in good faith, install software that allows their system to be further infected with various other forms of adware, and in extreme cases may put them at risk of being attacked by an actual virus.

How to Remove the Four Virus

We don’t have the space available here to go into the removal process for every platform and browser that the Four Virus can potentially infect, but as most people use Windows PCs with either the Chrome or Firefox browser, we will detail those steps below.

How to Remove the Four Virus from Windows 10

How to Remove the Four Virus from Windows 10

Image source: Pixabay

Click on Cortana and, in the search window that appears, type “control” without the quotation marks. This should bring Control Panel to the top of the search results. Open Control Panel, select Programs and Features, then scan down the list of programs looking for anything that looks suspicious or with “Four” or “4” in the name.

Click once on any suspicious entries, then click “Uninstall,” follow the prompts (usually all you will have to do is click OK or Yes), and repeat the process until all suspicious programs have been deleted. You can then exit the Programs and Features window. Since the Four Virus isn’t an actual virus, this is usually sufficient—but you may still have to remove the extension from Google’s Chrome browser or the add-on from Mozilla’s Firefox browser. Instructions for both appear below.

How to Remove the Four Virus from Google Chrome

How to Remove the Four Virus from Google Chrome​

Image source: Pixabay

In the top right corner of your Chrome browser, click the three vertical dots, which will open a configuration menu. Select More Tools, then Extensions. As you did with uninstalling suspicious entries, scan down the list to spot anything that looks suspicious or any extension with “four” or “4” in the name. Also keep an eye out for any extension you don’t remember installing yourself. Once you identify the suspect extensions, click Remove to eliminate them from the Google Chrome browser.

Most often, this will be sufficient to eliminate the problem. If you’re still having trouble with the unwanted pop-up window that is the hallmark of the Four Virus, you may wish to reset your Google Chrome browser setting entirely. To do this, click the Chrome menu in the upper right again, select Settings, then scroll down and select Advanced. Then, click Reset or Restore Settings. In the window that appears after selecting that option, confirm that you wish to reset Chrome by clicking the Reset button.

How to Remove the Four Virus from Mozilla Firefox

At the upper right of your browser window, click the three horizontal lines to open the Settings menu. Then select Add-ons, click Extensions in the window that opens, and scan through the add-ons or extensions to identify any suspicious add-ons. Remove them by clicking the Trash Can icon in the add-on panel.

If you are still having problems with the Four Virus pop-up, you may need to reset Mozilla Firefox to its default settings. Click the menu icon in the upper right of the browser window, click Help, then Accessing Settings. From there, select Troubleshooting Information, and in the window that opens, click Refresh Firefox. Another dialog window will open prompting you to confirm your choice. Click OK, and your browser will be reset to its default configuration.

Conclusion

We hope this has helped you eliminate the Four Virus adware from your system. To avoid the risk of being infected with this malicious software in the future, turn on your browser’s pop-up blocker or install a pop-up blocker add-on or extension, never visit websites you aren’t familiar with, and don’t click on any link promising to remove the Four Virus from your system, as that is one sure way to get infected.

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