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Remove Browse-Secure virus (Free Instructions) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

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 ReimageIntego 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.

Example of Browse-Secure malwareBrowse Secure extension is designed to harvest information from social networks.

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 may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Browse-Secure virus, follow these steps:

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.

Eliminate Browse-Secure from Mac OS X system

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

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Browse-Secure virus from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Browse-Secure virus-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Browse-Secure virus, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Browse-Secure virus and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Browse-Secure virus-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall Browse-Secure from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Browse-Secure virus and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Browse-Secure virus removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Browse-Secure virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Browse-Secure virus-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Delete 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

Erase 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

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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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