My dad's Gmail behavior ... This is not right(?)
July 22, 2020 8:37 AM   Subscribe

My dad told me today he AND his girlfriend keep getting messages popping up on their laptops (Windows 10 / Chrome) when he tries to access his Gmail. These are not emails, but messages popping-up IN FRONT OF the usual list of emails on the page. Messages like ...

My dad told me today he AND his girlfriend keep getting messages popping up on their laptops (Windows 10 / Chrome) when he tries to access his Gmail. These are not emails, but messages popping-up IN FRONT OF the usual list of emails on the page. Messages like ...

-- "... Shield Total AV Pro real time protection expired ... update to protected against ransomware ..."
-- Ads for doctors
-- Random jumps to weather reports

They're already using Webroot Antivirus. They have never used Shield Total AV.

Anyone know why this is happening?

Is this something to be concerned about?

If so, what does he need to do to fix it?

Thanks.
posted by ZenMasterThis to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd have him download the free Malwarebytes and see if some sort of adware injector or dns hijacker has been installed on his machines.
posted by tomierna at 8:48 AM on July 22, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's probably a browser extension in Chrome. In the Chrome toolbar, click the three vertical dots (right hand side), choose 'More Tools' -> Extensions to bring up a list of installed extensions. Any that refer to Shield AV (or any others that look sketchy) can be removed there. The ads probably aren't due to the Shield AV extension, but something else they've got installed.
posted by pipeski at 8:49 AM on July 22, 2020 [7 favorites]


Maybe another commenter here can comment, but it could be Webroot Antivirus that is doing this as well. Antivirus is kind of a thing of the past, and in general, I've found that having the software often causes issues. I'm not sure if Webroot is "one of the good ones" or "one of the ones that used to be good but now gives you pop up ads."
posted by bbqturtle at 9:15 AM on July 22, 2020


per pipeski just go into Chrome and remove all the extensions. I consider myself a careful user and I've still managed to get weird intrusive chrome extensions installed that I didn't want.
posted by GuyZero at 10:33 AM on July 22, 2020


He can open his gmail in an Incognito window to test whether it's an extension, but some "anti-virus" tools will install extensions, so having the extension may be a byproduct of a bad actor rather than being the main issue.
posted by idb at 12:19 PM on July 22, 2020


Some spammy random sites have a button for "allow notifications". I accidentally clicked "allow" a few weeks ago on one, and got random popups like this. To end them, I went into my Settings and disallowed popups from that site.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 2:13 PM on July 22, 2020 [3 favorites]


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