Severity scale:  
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Browse-Secure virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker
12

Browse Secure add-on harvests personal information from Facebook and LinkedIn

Image of Browse-Secure virus

Browse-Secure is dangerous Google Chrome extension that was available on Chrome Web Store for a while. This malicious extension promised to secure browsing sessions, but in fact, it stole information from user’s LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, including full name, contact details, and address. 

Browser add-on is no longer available in Chrome store, but it is still being spread via compromised sites that display fake security alerts and offers to download Browse Secure to make browsing the web safe again. However, security experts warn that installation of add-ons promoted in such sites might lead to privacy-related issues.

The description of the Browse Secure browser hijacker promises to protect user’s online activities. Once it is installed on the device, it alters browser’s settings and might set modified Google’s startup page that includes a lock icon in the search box.

After entering queries into the search box, it initiates redirect to http://www.browse-secure.com/search?a=[extension_id]&q=[search_query] and lands on Google search. This activity allows tracking user’s interests and search keywords. This information is most likely to be used for marketing reasons.

Shady search redirect tendencies are not the main issue with the potentially unwnated program (PUP). The Browse-Secure virus was designed to steal personal information about users provided on Facebook and LinkedIn. After the installation, this malicious extension connects to the backend server in order to get needed rules to extract information from these links:

  • facebook.com/me/about
  • facebook.com/me/about?section=contact-info
  • facebook.com/settings
  • facebook.com/settings?tab=mobile
  • linkedin.com/psettings/email
  • linkedin.com/profile/edit-basic-info

Browse Secure virus steals the full name of a person, date of birth, gender, address, email address, and mobile number. Aggregated information is sent to the server and developers of the harmful extension. Currently, there is no information how this information is used. However, security experts assume that it might be needed for phishing attacks.

Users are advised to remove Browse-Secure from Chrome and computer immediately. This add-on puts your privacy at risk and might make your computer vulnerable. We highly recommend eliminating it with Reimage or another anti-malware. This method is especially useful if the hijacker was installed without your knowledge.

However, manual Browse-Secure removal method is available too. However, it’s not enough to uninstall add-on from Chrome. You will need to investigate the system and remove hijacker or spyware-related entries by following the guide below.

Browse-Secure.com site listed as insecure and harmful website

While the add-on was available in Chrome store, it was linked to Browse-Secure.com website. However, trying to reach this domain now gives a security warning. Chrome and Firefox warn about a deceptive site that contains malicious content. However, if you bypass this warning, you will end up on leadgen.chupashop.com website that offers to take Amazon’s gift card.[1]

But first, users are asked to enter their email address and confirm that they agree with Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and be positive about sharing their contact details with “carefully selected sponsors who may contact” them. Undoubtedly, agreeing with such statements is not a good idea.

However, after installation of malicious add-on, other promotional sites might provide their shady deals too. It goes without saying that you should not accept any of them and just remove Browse Secure to avoid security risks.

Tips to spot malicious browser extension

The Browse-Secure malware was available on the official Chrome Web Store. Unfortunately, criminals often manage to bypass the legit store and include their harmful apps.[2] Security experts from Los Virus[3] suggest following these security tips before downloading any browser extensions:

  • do not download extensions from websites that asks to install the add-on in order to leave;
  • do not install apps from security pop-ups;
  • always use legit stores;
  • read Terms of Agreements, Privacy Policy and other related information about the program and its developers;
  • check the information about the developers and extension outside the store. Even if it has lots of positive reviews, they might be fake. Thus, checking the info in external websites helps to find out the truth about a necessary app.

However, Browse-Secure hijack might also occur during the installation of freeware or shareware if you rely on Quick/Recommended settings. Instead of them, opt for Advanced/Custom setup and carefully follow the guide. If you receive pre-selected “optional downloads,” unmark those ticks to stop their installation.

Uninstall Browse Secure entirely

To remove Browse-Secure, you have to choose between manual and automatic elimination methods. If you feel confident in your computer skills and have plenty of time to investigate the system, you can opt for the first option. By following manual removal guide below, you should be able to get rid of the browser hijacker.

However, if you noticed that add-on is re-installed, you should switch to automatic Browse-Secure removal option and wipe out browser hijacker with reputable anti-malware. Reputable security tool will find and delete spyware’s leftovers.

You can remove Browse-Secure automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Browse-Secure virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Browse-Secure virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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Manual Browse-Secure virus Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Windows systems

Follow these steps to look up for hijacker-related files and programs in Windows OS:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Browse-Secure and related programs
    Here, look for Browse-Secure or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Browse-Secure from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Mac OS X system

Make sure that any components related to Browse-Secure haven't been installed to Mac OS X:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Browse-Secure or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash.Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Browse-Secure and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Browse-Secure removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Browse-Secure should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Browse-Secure and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Browse-Secure removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Google Chrome

Uninstall Browse-Secure for Chrome and reset the browser to use your browser safely (this time for sure!)

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Browse-Secure and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Browse-Secure removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Browse-Secure from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Browse-Secure or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Browse-Secure, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Browse-Secure removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Browse-Secure registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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