- Installs itself without permissions
- Hijacks homepage
- Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel
Search.protectedio.com is a website utilized by a browser hijacker that affects the Internet Explorer browser. This website is set as your default homepage when your computer gets infected with the hijacker. Although you should remove Search.protectedio.com immediately, there is no need to panic because a browser hijacker is not an extreme computer security threat. Nevertheless, you should take this issue seriously and run a full system scan with a licensed antispyware tool because there is a good chance that Search.protectedio.com is not the only malicious infection present. Browser hijackers seldom get distributed on their own.
You are probably wondering how and when Search.protectedio.com managed to enter your computer. It is true that this browser hijacker is a malicious infection, but the problem is that users often install it themselves. Naturally, they do not realize that they install a computer threat they will soon need to remove, but the point is that Search.protectedio.com is able to slither into the target system uninvited because it often comes bundled with freeware. This means that whenever you download a shareware application from a third-party website you could be installing a number of additional (and clearly unnecessary!) features and applications as well.
Search.protectedio.com is not as intrusive as your average browser hijacker in that it affects only the Internet Explorer web browser. Also, the infection changes the homepage settings, but it does not modify either the shortcut target line or the default search engine. Clearly, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore Search.protectedio.com and just leave it be. After all, Search.protectedio.com enters your system silently, which should be enough of a proof that this website is no good.
The hijacker will collect information on what websites you visit and what you search for via tracking cookies. Search.protectedio.com might look like a reliable search engine that can provide you with secure search results, but the reality is that it makes use of all the data collected via tracking cookies to expose you to customized commercial content. Browser hijackers are created to generate profit for their developers so it shouldn’t be surprising that Search.protectedio.com will redirect you to affiliated third-party sites that contain unreliable content. This is how you could get infected with even more dangerous malware applications that would be rather hard to delete.
Take note that although Search.protectedio.com does not infect you with malware directly, it can be used as a tool by cyber criminals to distribute unreliable software and redirect you to pay-per-click websites. Therefore, remove Search.protectedio.com from your browser immediately and check whether you have some unwanted programs in your computer. If so, uninstall them via Control Panel and protect your system from similar security issues in the future.
How to remove unwanted programs
Windows 8 & Windows 8.1
Windows Vista & Windows 7
Remove Search.protectedio.com from your browser