- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
TheSearch.net is a browser hijacker that can corrupt Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge web browsers. If it corrupts Edge, only the start page will be replaced, but the remaining browsers might also suffer default search provider modifications. This suspicious search tool does not have an official installer, and you are most likely to find it bundled with malware. Malicious software bundles are usually carried by malicious installers that use attractive (possibly misleadingly attractive) programs to lure users into downloading more suspicious programs. If you encounter a software bundle, you need to research every app offered to you because you do not want to let in malware yourself. Note that malicious installers could also introduce you to silent installers, which is why we do not recommend trusting any of them. If you have been tricked already, you might have to remove TheSearch.net along with many other infections.
Although TheSearch.net might be introduced to you as a useful search tool, it is absolutely useless. First of all, it does not even offer different search tools (e.g., image, video, or news search tools). The interface of this hijacker is extremely simple, and all you can see is a search dialog box in the middle and the “Terms,” “Privacy,” and “About” links at the bottom. It is important that you analyze the information found in these links because they address the collection of data, the representation of ads, and the communication with third parties. As you might have learned already, TheSearch.net supposedly does not use “obtrusive forms of advertising.” That does not mean that it does not show ads at all. In fact, if you enter keywords into the provided search dialog box, you will be redirected to a search results page that includes mostly ads, or sponsored links. It is easy to distinguish between sponsored links and regular search results because of the “Ad” tag attached to them. Notably, once you are redirected, you will be provided with “Maps,” “Apps,” “News,” and “Images” search tools, but they do not work; at least, not right now.
According to our researchers, TheSearch.net comes from the Spigot family. MyBeesearch.com is another browser hijacker that belongs to this family and that we advise deleting from browsers. Whether one single company or many different companies stand behind this name, it is unlikely that you will be able to trust or benefit from the software associated with Spigot. This is another important reason to always do your research. Sure, it might be boring to familiarize yourself with different privacy policies and research every single program you are interested in, but you should never take your virtual security for granted. This is the reason why you should also keep track of the web cookies that are installed onto your browsers. The privacy policies supporting the suspicious TheSearch.net claim that personally-identifiable information is not collected (at least, not on purpose), but you cannot be sure that the tracking cookies installed when you interact with ads will be just as harmless. We have added the steps to the removal instructions below that will help you erase cookies, clear cache, and eliminate other kinds of browsing data.
If you wish to delete TheSearch.net – and we strongly advise that – use the instructions below to eliminate this hijacker from your browsers manually. As mentioned previously, this hijacker only modifies the start page on all popular browsers, but it evades the default search provider hijacking on Edge. Before you jump to the removal operation, we advise scanning your PC to see if other threats are active, and it is highly likely that you will discover malware. Whether they are completely unfamiliar pieces of malware or threats that you believed to be harmless programs, you can utilize an automated remover to have all of them eliminated simultaneously. If you decide to proceed manually, do not forget to analyze every single threat because it is unlikely that the same removal method will work on all of them.