- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
Search.searchw3m.com might affect Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. According to our researchers, it is a browser hijacker that can change user’s preferred homepage with a search engine showing modified search results. To be more precise the application could add third-party advertisements among the results. We have to warn users that without knowing where such ads could come from there is a possibility they might originate from untrustworthy sources, e.g., websites distributing malware, asking to participate in fake surveys, and so on. Therefore, if you are not too happy with Search.searchw3m.com replacing your homepage, we would highly recommend changing it with a more reliable search engine. It may not be an easy task for less experienced users, but the deletion instructions we will add at the end of this article should help with the browser hijacker’s removal. For additional information about this threat, we advise reading the full text.
Search.searchw3m.com is a lot similar to other Polarity Technologies Ltd browser hijackers that we have already tested before. As a matter of fact, the application is almost identical to many of them, e.g., Search.hemailloginnow.com, Search.easyrecipesnow.com, Search.heasyspeedtest.co, Search.searchquickm.com, and so on. Mainly, the difference between them is that they may offer a different specific tool below the search box, such as a document converter, a calendar, etc. Also, all of these applications place an additional toolbar; it might have various links to different third-party web pages. No doubt, this creation of almost identical and unreliable programs does not say anything good about the company developing them, and so we would advise you to be more cautious with tools created by Polarity Technologies Ltd, including the search engine we are discussing in this article.
Another thing we should talk about is the browser hijacker’s possible distribution channels. Our researchers say such threats often travel with bundled software installers that might be available on torrent and other various untrustworthy files-sharing web pages. What’s more, it is even possible Search.searchw3m.com could be bundled with other doubtful tools alike, e.g., adware, potentially unwanted programs, etc. Thus, if you downloaded the browser hijacker without even realizing it, keep it in mind, you could have accidentally installed even more doubtful programs. Consequently, it might be a good idea to review recently installed applications to check whether there are other potential threats on the system.
It appears to be the browser hijacker may settle in a bit differently from other applications. Apparently, instead of creating new data, it might alter existing files belonging to the hijacked browser. For instance, if you browse the Internet with Google Chrome the threat could modify particular data on the files called Preferences, Secure Preferences, and Web Data. This is how the application forces the browser to load Search.searchw3m.com instead of user’s usual homepage. Nevertheless, no matter how annoying such changes could be, the worst part is if the user decides to use the given search engine; it could display modified search results. Our researchers explain it might mean you may find additional content among the results, e.g., sponsored links, pop-up, and so on.
On the other hand, if you do not think this application is worth taking any chances, we recommend eliminating it with no hesitation. Those who would like to get rid of the browser hijacker manually should use the instructions available at the end of this article. The other way to deal with Search.searchw3m.com is to employ a reliable antimalware tool, make it perform a full system scan and then erase the threat along with other detections just by clicking the deletion button.