BestMapSearch browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is BestMapSearch browser hijacker?
BestMapSearch forces people to use only selected channels for browsing which raises user privacy concerns
BestMapSearch does not provide an easy way of searching for maps
BestMapSearch is a browser hijacker that changes the main settings. It changes the homepage to portal.bestmapsearch.com and the search queries get redirected through feed.bestmapsearch.com to search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Searchlee, and Nearbyme.
Even though Bing and Yahoo are legitimate search engines, the other ones are not. If your search queries get redirected to them, you might expect to see many promotional links in the search results, ads inserted between the results, and redirects to suspicious pages.
|TYPE||Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program|
|SYMPTOMS||The main settings of the browser like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine get changed|
|DISTRIBUTION||Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations|
|DANGERS||The app can lead to misinformation, dangerous pages, and collect browsing-related data|
|ELIMINATION||Remove the plugin via browser settings|
|FURTHER STEPS||Use a maintenance tool ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine|
The family of hijackers
There are hundreds of similar browser plugins that we previously wrote about, like BestSportSearch, FreeSearchStreams, and TopConverterSearch. They all seem to be developed by the same people. They have the same design, similar names, and styles.
The add-ons do not provide any useful functions. The names imply that they should make it easy to search for maps, sports news, etc. But that is not true. They only have a couple of basic features that can be accessed with a click of a button on almost every default browser – a PDF file converter, calculator, currency converter, and the ability to bookmark pages. It is unknown if any of them are even functional.
You should immediately remove the intruder as it does not provide any benefits and it can lead to dangerous websites that can lure out your personal information, trick you into downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and even malware. Crooks may use rogue advertising networks that place ads leading to scam sites.
BestMapSearch may track users' browsing activity
Usually, browser hijackers are spread through bogus “Downloader” pages. They often do not disclose the name of the file that is provided. Such sites are found through other shady pages that may engage in illegal activities. They are often full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects that can lead users to unsafe websites.
If you are looking for a browser plugin, it is best to use official web stores. Apps that get listed there, go through an extensive review process. However, you should still do your research – read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users. It is best to choose those extensions with plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users.
Another possibility is that the BestMapSearch extension was added by a PUP that came from a freeware distribution platform. They include additional programs in the installers that monetize user activity. Many people skip through the installation process so they do not notice the bundled software.
Remove the extension
The first thing you should do is go to your browser settings and check if you see BestMapSearch in the list, any extensions with a similar name, or suspicious-looking add-ons in general. You can follow our guide if you need help:
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
- Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
- From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
- Click on Uninstall at the bottom.
MS Edge (Chromium)
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
Clear your browsers
We suggest using ReimageIntego maintenance tool to clear your browsers and completely eliminate any remaining damage. This software is capable of getting rid of cookies and cache that are used to gather data like your IP address, geolocation, websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online.
It can also optimize your device and improve performance by deleting all junk files that you do not need. But this is not a single-use program. It can fix much more complicated problems like system errors, corrupted files, registry issues, and BSoDs which is especially useful after a virus infection.
Scan the system to detect adware
The hijacking could have been caused not only by a browser extension but also by a PUP. If the previous removal method did not get rid of unwanted symptoms, this step should fix it. Adware usually hides in the background of the machine performing unwanted tasks sneakily. Many users do not know about the infection until they start experiencing unpleasant symptoms.
Identifying the program responsible for hijacking your browser might be difficult if you have never done this before. It could be disguised as an antivirus suite, image editing software, media player, system optimizer, or anything else. PUA developers often disguise their products as “handy” tools so that users would not suspect them of any harm.
If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk eliminating the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes security tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a malicious program can make any changes. If manual removal is what you prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:
- Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
- Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.
- From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
- Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
- If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
- Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.
- Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
- In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.
- Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
- At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
- In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
- Click OK once the removal process is finished.
- From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
- In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
- Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)
To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.
How to prevent from getting browser hijacker
Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool
Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.
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