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Danger level 7
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Changes default search engine is a totally redundant and unreliable browser extension that offers a fake toolbar with a search tool and quick links to shopping sites as well as a main search tool. Reports show that this extension is mostly spread through corrupted third-party advertisements; therefore, chances are you do not even remember installing it. Since this tool has the capability to make modifications to your browser settings, we have categorized it as a browser hijacker. If this hijacker is present on your computer, there is a good chance that there are other malware infections as well, such as adware programs. Unfortunately, both this browser hijacker and adware can expose you to potentially unsafe third-party web content. If you engage with any questionable website, you should know that you may get your computer infected with more malware, but there are all kinds of other ways how cyber criminals can trick you and scam you out of your money, too. If you are a security-minded computer user, you cannot allow such potential threat sources stay a moment longer. We advise you to remove as soon as possible because, before long, you may have to face multiple virtual security issues that you will not perhaps be able to handle manually.

We have not been able to find an official website that would promote this browser hijacker as a standalone installer. Instead, we have discovered that this infection usually sneaks onto computers through unsafe third-party advertisements generated by adware programs, such as TermTrident. Unfortunately, this also means that your computer may have been infected with malware previously. It is usually quite obvious that an adware application is active on your PC because these infections do not stay hidden just like browser hijackers; they need to be seen or, at least, their operations. But, if you wonder what kind of adware or hijacker is on your computer, you can easily check it by opening the list of installed programs in Control Panel, or the extension lists in your browsers. You can find most of these infections this way, but not ransomware, rootkits, or Trojans.

It is possible that you have landed on suspicious freeware or torrent sites lately and that is how you infected your computer in the first place. If you had professional antimalware software protecting your computer, this could not happen since an up-to-date security tool can filter out all known malware infections even before they could enter your operating system. If you do not have one, you should delete and run a full-system malware scan to find all other threats. If you do not take care of all the infections at once, you may risk crippling your system.

We have found that this hijacker is very similar to and You cannot trust any of these search engines because they may fool you with manipulated search results. This hijacker, for example, does not use its own results, but, instead, it redirects your searches to a modified Yahoo results page. It can be quite deceiving to land on a legitimate-looking and otherwise reputable search engine search results page. However, since the results may include promoted third-party ads and links, you can never be certain that if you click on any content, you will land safely on a reliable website. It is possible, unfortunately, that you will end up on a malicious website where schemers will, for instance, try to make you download some more malware infections disguised as an “urgent” driver update. But it can also be much worse, including losing money from your bank account to criminals. If you do not want to taste the flavor of online scams, you should not hesitate to remove right now.

It is possible to manually eliminate this browser hijacker without a trace. If you want an easy solution, you can reset your Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers as this infection does not seem to affect Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge either. However, if you are more experienced, you might want to get your hands a bit “dirty,” and explore a bit more complicated avenue. We have included instructions below to guide those who like to peep behind the “curtains.” Please follow these steps carefully to make sure that no leftovers remain. For those, who are not really the manual type and prefer automated solutions we can offer to install a reputable antimalware application that will take care of all security-related issues the operating system is challenged by; and all this, with the click of a button.

How to remove

Internet Explorer

  1. Press Win+R and type in regedit. Hit Enter.
  2. Locate the following value name: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main | Start Page.
  3. Replace the value data “http://” with the home page URL of your choice.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Win+R.
  2. Copy and paste “C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\” into the box and hit Enter.
  3. Open the {Unique Mozilla user ID} folder and locate prefs.js.
  4. Find the following string: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "").
  5. Replace the URL with a home page of your choice.
  6. Launch your browser.
  7. Tap Alt+T and select Add-ons.
  8. Choose Extensions in the left panel.
  9. Click on the unwanted extension ("Your Instant Shopping" or it might be a random name) and click Remove.
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