Understanding the Threat: StartnSearch Browser Hijacker
In the realm of online security threats, browser hijackers stand out as intrusive and potentially harmful pieces of software that compromise the browsing experience of unsuspecting users. One such threat that has garnered attention is the StartnSearch browser hijacker.
What is StartnSearch Browser Hijacker?
StartnSearch is a type of browser hijacker that stealthily infiltrates users' systems, manipulating the settings of their web browsers without permission. Once installed, it seizes control of crucial browser components, such as the homepage, default search engine, and new tab settings.
Key Characteristics of StartnSearch:
1. Unauthorized Browser Changes:
StartnSearch operates by making unauthorized modifications to browser settings, often redirecting users to a specific homepage or search engine. This abrupt change can be disconcerting for users who find themselves on an unfamiliar page.
2. Search Redirects:
A common hallmark of browser hijackers is the redirection of search queries. Users may notice that their searches, originally intended for a legitimate search engine, are rerouted to a dubious search provider, often promoting sponsored content or fake search results.
3. Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs):
StartnSearch may be bundled with other potentially unwanted programs, exacerbating the impact on system performance. Users might unintentionally install these additional programs when downloading seemingly legitimate software.
How Does StartnSearch Spread?
- Browser hijackers like StartnSearch often spread through deceptive methods, including:
- Bundled Software: Users might unknowingly install StartnSearch when downloading free or seemingly harmless software from untrustworthy sources.
- Infected Websites: Visiting compromised websites or clicking on malicious ads can also lead to the inadvertent installation of StartnSearch.
Potential Risks and Consequences of StartnSearch
1. Privacy Concerns:
Browser hijackers may compromise user privacy by collecting browsing habits, search queries, and other sensitive information. This data could be misused or sold to third parties without the user's knowledge.
2. System Instability:
The presence of StartnSearch and associated programs may lead to system slowdowns, crashes, or other performance issues, negatively impacting the overall user experience.
Preventing and Removing StartnSearch:
- Use reputable security software: Regularly update and run reliable antivirus or anti-malware software to detect and remove StartnSearch
- Exercise caution when downloading software: Only download software from reputable sources and avoid downloading from suspicious or unverified websites.
- Regularly update browsers: Keeping browsers and security software up to date helps protect against vulnerabilities that hijackers exploit.
In the face of evolving cyber threats, understanding the nature of browser hijackers like StartnSearch is crucial for maintaining a secure online environment. Vigilance, caution, and the use of reliable security measures are essential to prevent and mitigate the impact of such potentially harmful software.
Keep in mind that information about specific threats can change, and it's advisable to consult the latest sources for the most up-to-date details on StartnSearch.
Details of Antimalware with User’s Guide
Important Note: This virus seeks users to enable web browser notifications. So, before opting for the manual removal process, execute these steps.
For Google Chrome (PC)
- Users need to Go to the right upper corner of the screen and find three dots and click there open the Menu button
- Now in order to select “Settings”. users need to Scroll the mouse downward to choose as “Advanced” option.
- Then Go to the “Privacy and Security” section by scrolling downward. Once done you need to select “Content settings” and then the “Notification” option
- Now Find all suspicious URLs and select and click on three dots on the right side
- Now all you have to do is to choose the “Block” or “Remove” option
Google Chrome (Android)
- Firstly users should Go to the right upper corner of the screen
- Then click on three dots in order to open the menu button and again click on “Settings”
- Now scroll down further to click on “site settings” and thereafter press on the “notifications” option
- This would open a new window, now you need to choose each suspicious URLs one by one
- under the permission section, users need to select “notification” and “Off” the toggle button.
From Mozilla Firefox
- At the right corner of the screen, users can find three dots which is the “Menu” button
- Now you need to select “Options” and choose “Privacy and Security” for the toolbar which is present on the left side of the screen
- Now you need to Slowly scroll down and go to the “Permission” section then select the “Settings” option which is just next to the “Notifications”
- This will open a new window, So now select all the suspicious URLs. Finally, Click on the drop-down menu and select the “Block” option
From Internet Explorer
- Open and select the Internet Explorer window, then you need to select the Gear button which is present at the right corner
- Then Choose “Internet Options”
- users need to Select the “Privacy” tab and then click on “Settings” under the “Pop-up Blocker” section
- Finally, you need to select all the suspicious URLs and click on the “Remove” option one by one.
In Microsoft Edge
- First of all Open the Microsoft Edge browser on Windows PC. Then click on the three dots which can be found on the right corner of the screen to open the menu option
- Now Scroll down to select “Settings”
- Then further Scroll down to select “View advanced settings”
- Under the option of “Website Permission”, users should click on the “Manage” options.
- Now Click on switch under for each and every suspicious URL.
For Safari (Mac)
- Click on “Safari” On the upper right side corner, select “Preferences”
- Now Go to the “website” tab and then you need to choose the “Notification” section which is on the left pane
- Then Search for all the suspicious URLs and finally choose the “Deny” option one by one.
Complete Manual Steps to Remove StartnSearch
For Windows 7 Users
The first step is to click on the “Start” button ( windows logo at the bottom left corner of the screen), Now select “Control Panel”. Then Locate the “Programs” and finally click on the “Uninstall Program” option.
Windows XP Users
Firstly Click on “Start” and then select “Settings”.
Now click on “Control Panel”.
Finally, Search and click on the “Add or Remove Program” option.
Windows 10 and 8 Users
Firstly right-click on the lower-left corner of the screen. Under the “Quick Access” menu, you need to choose “Control Panel”. This would open a new window, select “Program and Features” to find any suspicious program, and remove them.
For Mac OSX Users
users need to click on the “Finder” option. Then select “Application” on the new screen which gets opened. Now select the “Application” folder and drag the app to “Trash”. Finally right-click on the Trash icon and select to click on the “Empty Trash” option.
under uninstall programs window, look for any potentially unwanted application. Once found select all the unwanted and suspicious entries. Then finally click on “Uninstall” or “Remove”.
Once all the PUA and adware such as StartnSearch is uninstalled, it is advised to scan your computer with an anti-malware tool for any remaining PUPs and PUAs which might be hidden. It is recommended to use an anti-malware tool to scan a PC.
How to Remove StartnSearch from Internet Browsers
Steps to Delete malicious add-ons and extensions from Internet Explorer
You need to Click on the gear icon which is at the top right corner of Internet Explorer. Now Select “Manage Add-ons”. Search and check for any recently installed plug-ins or add-ons and then click on “Remove” option.
If you are still experiencing issues related to StartnSearch removal, then you can reset the Internet Explorer to its default setting.
Windows XP users: First of all Press on “Start” and then click “Run”. In the newly opened window, you need to type “inetcpl.cpl” and then click on the “Advanced” tab and now press on “Reset”.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 Users: Press the Windows logo, you need to type ‘inetcpl.cpl’ in the start search box and press enter. This will open a new window, here click on the “Advanced Tab” followed by “Reset” button.
For Windows 8 Users: Double click to Open IE and then click on the “gear” icon. Select and Choose “Internet Options”
“Advanced” tab is to be selected in the new window
now Press and click “Reset” option
“Reset” button is to be presses again to confirm that you really want to reset the IE
How to Remove suspicious and unwanted Extension from Google Chrome
Under menu option of Google Chrome, press on three vertical dots and then select on “More tools” and then “Extensions”. Users need to search for all the recently installed add-ons and remove all of them.
If StartnSearch still persists or in case if users experience any issue in removing it, then opt to reset the Google Chrome browse settings. Go to three dot points which is at the top right corner and then choose “Settings”. you need to Scroll down bottom and click on “Advanced”.
You can notice the “Reset” option is there at the bottom. Now click on it.
Within then next opened window, one needs to confirm to reset the Google Chrome settings by clicking on the “Reset” button.
Remove StartnSearch plugins (including all other suspicious plug-ins) from Firefox Mozilla
First of all Open the Firefox browser, under menu you need to select “Add-ons”. Click “Extensions”. Now Select all the recently installed browser plug-ins.
If you experience problems in StartnSearch removal then reset the settings option in Mozilla Firefox. For this users need to Open the browser (FF) and now click on the “menu” and then click on “Help“.
Now Choose “Troubleshooting Information”
In the newly opened pop-up window, click “Refresh Firefox” button
Now confirm and reset the Mozilla Firefox to its default settings by clicking on “Refresh Firefox” button.
How To Remove Malicious Extension from Safari
In order to accomplish this task, Open Safari browser and then go to its “Menu” and select “Preferences”.
Now Click on the “Extension” and check all the recently installed “Extensions” and then click on “Uninstall” on the selected extension.
Users need to Open the “Safari” and go to menu. Under the drop-down menu, select “Clear History and Website Data”.
within new opened window, you need to select “All History” option and then press on “Clear History” to Delete it.
Delete StartnSearch add-ons from Microsoft Edge Browser
First of all Open Microsoft Edge and go to three horizontal dot icons at the top right corner of the browser. Select all installed extensions and right click on the mouse to “uninstall”.
Open Microsoft Edge Browser and select “Settings”
Next steps is to click on “Choose what to clear” button
Now select on “show more” and select all and then click on “Clear” button.
Mostly, Potentially Unwanted Program and adware get inside the marked PC through unsafe freeware downloads. It is advised that you should only select a legit website only while downloading any kind of free application. Now select custom or advanced installation process so that you can trace the additional PUPs listed for installation along with the main program.