Cricket Start browser hijacker (virus) - Free Guide

Cricket Start browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Cricket Start browser hijacker?

Cricket Start redirects users to a fake search engine that can lead to dangerous websites

Cricket StartCricket Start is a bogus browser extension that manipulates the settings

Cricket Start is a browser hijacker that can change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It can also cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. The application takes over the browsing experience by forcing people to use only selected channels.

NAME Cricket Start
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

Cricket Start in detail

The Cricket Start extension redirects users' search queries from search.nstart.online to a fake search engine nearbyme.io. People may be led to misinformation or dangerous pages. As a result, users can get tricked into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[1] and malware by sites that use social engineering.[2]

Usually, browser hijackers are spread through fake download pages. However, many of them also have promotional websites. In the “official” page of the extension in question, users are told that the app provides the latest cricket results and updates.

We know this is not true as it just adds a fake search engine that does not provide any benefits. Crooks often try to disguise their applications as “handy” tools to make people install them themselves. Fraudsters do not need to have any hacking skills. All they have to do is come up with a convincing message.

If you want to avoid browser hijacker infections, try not to visit websites you do not know. Do not click on random links and buttons. Especially avoid illegal streaming platforms[3] as they are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. Make sure the “Download” and “Play” buttons are real before clicking on them by hovering your mouse and looking at the URL it leads to.

Cricket Start browser hijackerCricket Start is disguised as a handy app for cricket enthusiasts

Be careful of freeware distribution platforms

The hijacker could have also entered the system without your knowledge. This can happen if you use freeware[4] distribution platforms. They often include additional programs in the installers that monetize user activity and people do not notice them. Be extremely careful and take precautionary steps.

Always choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation method, read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to find out what the program will be able to do in your machine and what data it will collect. The most important part is to look at the file list and untick the boxes next to those that seem unrelated or suspicious.

Of course, the best way to avoid PUAs is to only use official web stores and developer websites. Apps that get listed on digital marketplaces, go through an extensive review process. But you should still do your research – read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users.

It is best to choose those apps that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users. We also recommend reading the descriptions fully as crooks often make grammar or spelling mistakes. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is and it is best to find other options as well.

Remove the extension

The first thing you should do is go to your browser settings and check if you see Cricket Start 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:

Google Chrome

  • 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.Remove extensions from Chrome

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 extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

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

Mozilla Firefox

  • 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.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

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 look for PUPs

If the previous removal method did not get rid of the symptoms, you may have a PUP hiding in your machine. 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.

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:

Windows 10/8:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all 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 an unwanted app, 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 and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
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.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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