Text Enhance is one of those pesky, flash-based, adware, garbage packages, categorized by computer security experts as a browser hijacker, and by the rest of us as illegal, immoral c**pware. It attaches itself to internet browsers as an extension with cookies, without user consent.
Text Enhance is not a legitimate in-text advertising service; the website does not offer a download for the extension, nor is it listed in any browser’s extension database. It behaves like a virus. Text Enhance does not infect websites themselves, just your browser’s view of them.
Victims of Text Enhance find that webpages become filled with links for pop-up, spam advertisements; “in-text advertisements.” The owners of Text Enhance provide advertising services to cyber-criminals and unethical third parties, in addition to compromising and selling on personal information. It has been around since at least 2011, it is still infecting browsers in 2014, with Internet Explorer proving particularly vulnerable. I know, I had to exterminate the little swine from a machine earlier this year.
Removing Text Enhance
Firstly clear your browser’s cache and cookies; go to your browser’s options/preference settings and clear down.
- Under Microsoft Internet Explorer, select Tools, then Manage add-ons.
- Under Show, select All add-ons or Toolbars and Extensions, depending on which version of IE you use.
- Select the Text Enhance plug-in from the list of software, and click disable.
Here is the tricky part, Text Enhance lurks under a number of pseudonyms. You can look up lists of known aliases (I’d recommend doing this in a different browser). I’ve posted a list of the most common at the bottom of this post. If you can’t do a live lookup, take a look down your list of extensions. Chances are if you don’t recognise one, or don’t recall installing it, that’s Text Enhance.
You should be able to remove the add-on… except the dam’ thing is now being installed not as an add-on, but as a program!
Uninstall Text Enhance Program
Now more than just a browser extension, Text Enhance installs a program, previously as ‘Text Enhance’ but now under other aliases on your computer which you will need to uninstall.
- Go to Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
- The same rule applies, with Text Enhance lurking under a number of aliases, for example, any program developed by 215 apps or Excellent apps. Run through your programs list, checking the install date as well; chances are if you don’t recognise a program, or don’t recall installing it, that’s Text Enhance.
What was a blunt instrument, Text Enhance is now a sneaky little so-and-so, getting better at creating Windows Registry keys. There’s a host of anti-malware programmes that will carry out a registry scan and try to zap these for you, but that’s beyond the scope of this post.
The additional measures we should take is to block the Text Enhance cookie and restrict web access for Text Enhance to dial home.
Blocking the Text Enhance cookie
- From the Tools menu of Internet Explorer, select Internet Options
- Select the Privacy tab, and then click Sites. The Per site privacy actions window will be displayed
- In the Per site privacy actions window, enter Text-Enhance.com in the Address of Web site field
- Click Block
Blocking site access
- Select Tools(Alt-x) > Internet Options
- Tools Internet Options Internet Explorer
- Select the Security tab and click Restricted sites
- Click the “Sites” button and individually enter: Text-Enhance.com and Textsrv.com
Given Text Enhance is entirely enabled by Adobe Flash via Shockwave player add-on, you could, of course, take the extra step and disable Shockwave entirely. One of the reasons Steve Jobs hated Flash was because it was the software equivalent of a plague carrier.
I won’t let Shockwave anywhere near any of my machines. I also have Flashblock installed, so that I have to explicitly enable Flash=based content on the pages I visit. You’ll be surprised at the amount of garbage it cuts out and the vast improvement in page load times. Just saying… AJS
Common Text Enhance Aliases
Add Lyrics, Bandicam, BCool, BeCool, Better Links,BFlix,Bflix1.0,Browser Enhancements 1.0,browser enhancements 1.0, Click 2 Save, Codec-C, Codec-V, CodecC, CodecM, Crossrider, crossrider web apps, Dealply, Dealply, Deals Plugin, Downloadnsave, Extension, Facebook Dislike, Facetheme, Fantapper, fantapper, , Fast save, Freecorder, Freemind, Game Play Labs, GetSavin, Giant Savings, I Want That, I want this, I Want This, I-livid, Iminent, Installed Class, iwantthis, JetMP3, Jp3, Jlmp3, Media Plugin, Onetab, Pando Media Enhancer, Premiumplay Codec, Privacy SafeGuard, Protector by IB, Rewardsarcade, RewardsArcadeSuite, SafeGuard, SavebyClick, SelectionLinks, Sent to Kindle, Splashtop Inc, Startnow Toolbar, StartNow, TextServe, TheBflix, TheBflix Class, TheBflix5.0, Toad, Torrenthandler, Vid-Saver, Video File Download, Vuze, VUZE, Widgi, With Java plug-ins, wxDfast, Yontoo, YouTube Plus, ZoomEx, Zoomex, ZoomIt