This is a Dell XPS8400 running Win7 and IE11 with latest updates.
I was looking for a cheap free file conversion application and found one on CNET which I downloaded and installed. Terrible mistake to put it mildly! This is really embarrassing but my system immediately started displaying indications of malware or a virus. Some of the things I began seeing were:
1) Pop up ads on IE pages that never had pop up ads. Several of this suggested I click to download some driver update. At least I was smart enough not to do click on any of these.
2) Opening a new tab which should be blank, takes me to a site with the URL search.conduit.com/.... which has a pop up ad
3) If I try to open IE Manage Addons the screen goes gray and IE crashes. I can only open Manage Addons through the Control Panel/Internet Options. Once open, there are a couple of addons that I don't remember seeing before but they are disabled.
4) Chrome started displaying similar symptoms so I deleted it.
So, my questions are:
1) Does this seem likely to be a security risk or is it mainly just annoying?
2) What steps should I follow to rid myself of this pest?
3) I've considered going back to a recent restore point. Is this a reasonable approach and will this affect any user files?
Thanks for any advice you can offer. I'm getting ready to do my taxes which involves quite a bit of computer activity. I can do this work on another PC but it would be more convenient to my main system.