Also known as: Adware.Amonetize, W32/Amonetize
Variants: Amonetize.Downloader, Amonetize.Installer, Amonetize.Toolbar,Amonetize.AdLoad, Amonetize.Redirect, Amonetize.BrowserHijacker
Damage potential: Displaying intrusive ads, hijacking web browsers, slowing down performance, collecting personal data, installing other malware
Amonetize is a type of adware. Since it is not a computer virus, it is also often classified as potentially unwanted software (PUP). However, Amonetize is designed to display intrusive ads on your browser, redirect your traffic, and bombard you with pop-ups. It may also collect your data and slow down your devices. It spreads by piggybacking on free software and installing itself without the user’s knowledge.
If you have Amonetize installed on your device, the symptoms will be similar to those characteristic of other adware. These symptoms can include:
Increased display of ads, especially pop-ups and banners that cover up the website.
Your browser starts loading websites without you entering the domain name.
Your device suddenly becomes slow and crashes more often without noticeable reason.
Changed browser settings, such as homepage, default search engine, and extensions.
New software appears on your device without you installing it.
Sources of the infection
Amonetize almost always comes bundled with free software that users download themselves. It can be included as an optional toolbar or an app that you have to choose to include during installation. Most often, though, it is hidden and installs itself without your knowledge.
You can protect your devices from Amonetize and other adware by downloading apps and software only from trusted sources — like official app stores and the developer’s websites. In general, be mindful when installing new software. During the installation process, choose the advanced/custom mode and tinker with the settings to make sure you’re not getting more than you signed up for.