What is Consumer Input?
Created by Compete Inc, the Consumer Input program claims to help users to express their opinions about products and services that matter most to them. By participating in online research, Consumer Input members have the opportunity to influence leading companies while earning cash rewards, gift cards, or entries into valuable sweepstakes. While this functionality may seem legitimate, be aware that the Consumer Input app is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application since it displays surveys on various shopping websites. Many users report that this browser plug-in was installed on their Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without their consent, and furthermore, many experience diminished browser performance as a result. The developers of the Consumer Input plug-in employ a deceptive software marketing method called ‘bundling’ for distribution.
Unwilling installation of this adware is often a consequence of not paying close enough attention when downloading and installing free software. Be aware that many download websites and freeware developers bundle their free downloads and programs with additional, promoted software such as toolbars, browser add-ons, etc to monetize incoming web traffic. If you do not pay close attention by checking each step during the freeware installation phase, you may inadvertently install Consumer Input or other adware. This plug-in is not technically a computer virus, however, it is categorized as adware and you are advised to remove it from your computer, since it tracks users’ Internet browsing activity. After successful installation, Consumer Input tracks IP addresses, websites visited (interactions with those sites), Internet search terms, videos viewed, products purchased from online shops, form data, content downloaded or uploaded, and other software and hardware information, which can be personally identifiable. This tracking could result in privacy issues and identity theft.
Most adware is distributed via small programs called ‘download managers’ within freeware download websites such as download.com, soft32.com, softonic.com, amongst many others. Consumer Input adware is similar to other potentially unwanted programs, which are distributed via free software downloads. Examples include CrowdCores, VidX, and PastaQuotes. Most freeware download websites employ download managers to monetize their free services by offering installation of promoted browser extensions together with the chosen free software. Thus, careless download and installation of free software may lead to adware or malware infections. This situation can be prevented by closely inspecting each step of the freeware download process and never accepting installation of any additional applications offered. If you are installing downloaded software, select the ‘Custom’ or ‘Advanced’ installation options, rather than ‘Typical’ or ‘Quick’ – this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and enable you to decline them. Computer users who have installed Consumer Input should follow this removal guide to eliminate this adware from their Internet browsers.
Deceptive free software installers used in Consumer Input adware distribution:
Quick solution to remove ConsumerInput Surveys
Consumer Input adware removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for “Consumer Input“, select this entry and click “Uninstall” or “Remove”.
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Consumer Input surveys), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Consumer Input adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the “gear” icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select “Manage Add-ons”. Look for “Consumer Input“, select this entry and click “Remove”.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the consumer input , reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select “Tools” and click “Extensions”. Locate: “Consumer Input“, select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the consumer input , reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Tools. From the opened menu, select Extensions. In the opened window, select Settings (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Show advanced settings… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select “Add-ons”. Click “Extensions”, in the opened window, remove “Consumer Input“.
Computer users who have problems with consumer input removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click the Open Help Menu icon,
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences….
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data…
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
ConsumerInput Surveys is an adware program that tracks user’s Internet browsing and generates intrusive online advertisements. Most commonly adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate user’s Internet browsers through free software downloads. Internet users should know that nowadays most of free software download websites are using download clients to manage their freeware download process, unfortunately some of the mentioned download clients don’t properly disclose the fact that advertised browser plugins or toolbars will be installed together with the free program that users have decided to download. Download clients and installers that are used to distribute adware commonly hide the decline button that can be used to opt-out of installing the advertised potentially unwanted applications.
Some of the malicious free software download websites doesn’t allow to download the chosen freeware if users decide to decline the installation of promoted software. Notice that the safest source for downloading free software is it’s developers website. To avoid installation of adware be very attentive when downloading and installing free software.
If your download is managed by a download client be sure to decline installation of promoted browser plug-ins and toolbars. When installing the already downloaded free program choose custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal all of the potentially unwanted applications that are being installed together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove consumerinput surveys from your computer, please ask for assistance in our Malware Virus Removal and Tune Up.
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