Fastholidayshopping.com browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is Fastholidayshopping.com browser hijacker?
Fastholidayshopping.com changes the homepage, search engine, and other browser settings
Hijackers can completely change the browsing experience
Fastholidayshopping.com is a browser hijacker that changes the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. This forces people to use only selected channels for browsing, raising many user privacy and security concerns. The app may lead people to misinformation or even dangerous websites.
People can end up on scam pages that try to trick them into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or even malware. Users may also notice an increase in commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects.
Browser hijackers in general
We previously wrote about many bogus browser extensions, like Chromnius, Dailyguides.com, Findhealthinfonow.com, etc. Usually, they are promoted in a way that makes them look like “handy” tools. However, most of the time they do not provide any benefits. Quite the opposite, it can put users in danger by collecting browsing-related information with cookies.
The main goal of such applications is to generate revenue for crooks. They can do that from pay-per-click advertising and selling cookies to advertising networks or other third parties. Cookies store data such as the websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online.
That is why it is best to clear your browsers regularly. You may use a maintenance tool like FortectIntego that can do this automatically. Besides this powerful software can fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after a virus infection.
|TYPE||Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program|
|SYMPTOMS||When a browser gets hijacked, usually the main settings get changed – the homepage, new tab address, and search engine; additionally, users can experience an increased amount of commercial content|
|DISTRIBUTION||Shady websites, deceptive ads, redirects, freeware installations|
|DANGERS||The application might gather various browsing-related information, which raises many user security and privacy concerns|
|ELIMINATION||You can remove an unwanted extension in the settings of the browser; deploying professional security software to scan the machine is recommended|
|FURTHER STEPS||Use FortectIntego to try to repair any remaining damage and optimize the machine to fix performance issues|
Most of the time, people get infected with browser hijackers through fake downloader pages or “official” promotional websites created by fraudsters. That is why it is best to only use official web stores. Apps that get listed there have to 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. Choose those apps that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users. Read the descriptions fully and make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes.
Avoid using unverified sources for application installations
The first thing you should do is go to your browser settings and check if you see 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.
Get rid of potentially unwanted programs
The hijacking could have also been caused by a program. This most commonly happens when people do not pay attention during installation and browse through shady sites. If the previous removal method did not get rid of the intruder, you most likely have a potentially unwanted program performing tasks in the background.
Crooks often disguise PUPs as handy tools that you would not even suspect. It could look like an antivirus, system optimizer, media player, or else. If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk eliminating the wrong files, we suggest using professional security tools.
SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes can scan your machine, identify suspicious processes running in your machine, eliminate them, 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 still 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
Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are
There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.
Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.
Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.