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What Is Wave Browser and Is It Safe?

You may have seen Wave Browser pop up on your computer or device recently. But what is this unfamiliar program, and is it safe to use? In this comprehensive security guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know about Wave Browser, how to remove it if necessary, and most importantly—how to protect your privacy.

What Exactly is Wave Browser?

Wave Browser is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that many users install unintentionally. It is designed to imitate popular and trusted web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

At first glance, Wave Browser looks innocuous. However, it exhibits some very concerning behaviors:

  • Collecting your browsing data and online activities
  • Sharing that data with third parties
  • Changing browser settings without your permission
  • Injecting intrusive ads that can contain malware

These invasive behaviors make Wave Browser unsafe to have on your computer or device.

How Does Wave Browser Spread So Easily?

One reason Wave Browser spreads so prolifically is through deceptive downloads. When downloading free software bundles and tools, Wave Browser is often included as an additional installed program without adequate consent.

According to a 2021 study, potentially unwanted programs like Wave Browser were included in 73% of software downloads. That translates to millions of users unintentionally installing unsafe browser tools.

Bundling with other software is a distribution tactic that allows Wave Browser to fly under the radar. Users are unlikely to notice the additional PUP installation.

Wave Browser‘s Data Collection and Tracking

My biggest concern when it comes to Wave Browser is its data collection practices. This PUP blatantly disregards user privacy.

According to Wave Browser‘s privacy policy, it collects an extensive amount of information about you, including:

  • Browsing and search history
  • Clicked ads and links
  • Device events and usage data
  • Location and IP address

It then stores this data and shares it with external companies for advertising purposes. Wave Browser uses tracking technologies like cookies, web beacons, and device fingerprinting to gather data without your knowledge.

This kind of monitoring completely strips away user privacy and control. It also violates regulations like GDPR on data collection transparency and consent.

Performance and Security Risks

In addition to the privacy risks, Wave Browser can negatively impact your system‘s performance and security.

Having Wave Browser running in the background consumes extra memory, storage space, and processing power. This can cause general sluggishness and slowness, especially on older machines.

Comparative tests have found Wave Browser using 15-20% more RAM than leading browsers like Firefox and Chrome with multiple tabs open:

Browser memory usage chart

Memory usage with 10 tabs open, via AV-Test Institute

Wave Browser also makes your device more vulnerable to intrusive ads containing malware payloads. It may change security settings in your browser to enable this ads infiltration.

These performance and security impacts give even more reasons to remove Wave Browser promptly.

Removing Wave Browser from Your Device

If you discover Wave Browser on your system, here are step-by-step guides to get rid of it completely on common platforms:

Windows

  1. Open Installed Applications and uninstall Wave Browser
  2. End all Wave Browser processes in Task Manager
  3. Delete Wave Browser folders and registry keys
  4. Run a scan with Malwarebytes to remove remnants

Mac

  1. Drag Wave Browser from Applications to Trash
  2. Empty Trash bin to complete deletion
  3. Run a scan with Bitdefender Virus Scanner

Android

  1. Locate Wave Browser in Apps settings
  2. Select Uninstall
  3. Confirm removal
  4. Scan with Lookout Security & Antivirus

iOS

  1. Find Wave Browser on the Home screen
  2. Press and hold the icon to enter "jiggle mode"
  3. Tap the X icon on Wave Browser to delete it
  4. Run a scan with iVerify antivirus app

Completely removing all traces of Wave Browser is crucial to regain your device‘s security and performance.

How Can I Prevent Unwanted Programs in the Future?

Preventing potentially unwanted programs from slipping onto your device is ideal. Here are some top tips:

  • Install reputable antivirus software – Programs like Bitdefender or Kaspersky can continuously monitor for PUPs and malware.

  • Avoid clicking agree on bundles – Carefully deselect any additional programs and toolbars included in installer wizards.

  • Use a pop-up blocker – Browser extensions like uBlock Origin prevent unwanted content.

  • Keep all software updated – Patching vulnerabilities denies PUPs an attack surface.

  • Make backups – Backing up critical data allows you to factory reset if necessary to remove stubborn PUPs.

Taking preventative measures will stop invasive programs like Wave Browser from ever reaching your device in the first place.

Closing Thoughts

Wave Browser exemplifies why potentially unwanted programs can be so problematic – they operate in the shadows collecting your data and impacting performance. Removing Wave Browser and guarded against similar threats should be priorities to take back control of your privacy and security. With the right tools and awareness, you can protect your browsing experience from disruptive PUPs.

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Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.