There have been numerous complaints from Mac user about a “virus” application Premium Forward. The application appears on users’ devices without their consent, and it shows up every time the Safari browser is started. However, other browsers could be affected as well, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera.
To determine the number of PUAs installed on your Mac, there are several things you can do, and they are explained in the last part of the article (the removal guide).
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUA|
|Short Description||A potentially unwanted app that lands on Mac devices without users’ knowledge.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab page and search engine in your default web browser may be changed, and you may witness intrusive ads.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Premium Forward.|
Premium Forward – More Information
Due to its unexpected appearance and overall behavior, Premium Forward is classified as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and browser hijacker, set to change the settings of the user’s default browser without their initial consent or approval. The app itself could be advertised as a useful utility that improves the browsing experience and aids the user in a number of online activities, such as shopping. However, Premium Forward’s main purpose may be to collect information about your browsing experience and habits, and the developers of the app could be sharing collected details with undisclosed third parties (marketing companies). Of course, this is done for monetization purposes.
As a result of having Premium Forward installed on your Mac, you may start witnessing pop-up ads or experience other unwanted activities, such as changed browser settings and unwanted redirects. Keep in mind that your searches could also be redirected to a numer of unwanted and suspicious pages. Interacting with these pages and the information they display is not considered safe – you could end up with having a more serious threat on your Mac.
In general, PUAs such as Premium Forward tend to collect some details about your browsing, such as:
- Visited URLs and websites
- Browser’s home page
- Search queries
- Search queries on the visited web pages
- Type of used browser
- Operating system type
- Internet protocol (IP) address
- Geographic location
- The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)
- Diagnostic information which describes how their Services are operating on the system
This type of data collection is typical for adware and potentially unwanted programs (apps). At best, these programs provide little to no benefit, and at worst, they can be quite harmful to your system, be it Windows or Mac. In addition to taking up space on your hard drive, they also slow down your computer, often change settings without your approval, etc. While this is obnoxious, the worst part of installing a PUA is the features that lead to the generation of all kinds of annoying advertisements.
NOTE. To avoid the installation of unwanted applications, you should pay close attention during the installation of freeware apps. Freeware you recently downloaded from software download pages could have been bundled with TotalResultsSearch. Third-party developers may support shady practices for monetization purposes, and may offer you to change your homepage or search provider. You can decline any of these additional offers only if you are careful enough to spot them during installation. In other words, paying attention to the installation setups of freeware could spare you from having to deal with this browser hijacker.
To eliminate any associated risks stemming from having Premium Forward in your system, we recommend the complete removal of the PUA. The next paragraph provides instructions on how to complete the removal process.
How to Remove Premium Forward
To get rid of Premium Forward and all its associated files, generally you have to complete several removal steps. The instructions below provide both manual and automatic removal methods. To completely remove the files installed by unwanted applications, we recommend that you combine the steps.
NOTE. The manual removal may be quite a complicated process that requires tech-savvy skills. If you don’t feel comfortable with the manual steps, you can rely on automatic removal.
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall Premium Forward and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Premium Forward via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove Premium Forward – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Premium Forward files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Premium Forward, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Premium Forward FAQ
What is Premium Forward on your Mac?
The Premium Forward threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your Mac.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of Premium Forward on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like Premium Forward?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Premium Forward?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.