Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Remove Safeservesearch.com (Simple Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Safeservesearch.com – a browser hijacker which promises to protect your privacy

The picture of Safeservesearch.com

Safeservesearch is a shady search tool created by Plasko Interactive Ltd. It has been spotted spreading in software bundles as Privacy Switch Chrome extension. Once inside, it alters browser’s settings, sets new startup page, and display intrusive commercial content on the browser.

However, developers of the SafeSearch, or PrivacySwitch, present it as a legitimate search engine that promises to protect your privacy. Developers of Safeservesearch virus are trying to make you think that using this fake search engine has multiple benefits, including increased computer safety and privacy protection while using “Top of the line encryption.”

The fake search engine promotes the “Privacy Switch” which, when enabled helps to protect your privacy and enchants browsing experience. However, it is far from the truth. In case of continual use, safeservesearch.com does the complete opposite.

Despite the fact it promises to stop search tracking; this potentially unwanted program (PUP) collects non-personally identifiable information[1] itself in order to improve search results and display targeted ads. To achieve this goal, the hijacker might alter browser’s settings and take control over it.

Safeservesearch.com virus is not dangerous itself. However, it is the third-party content you get exposed to, while using this fake search engine, does. If the PUP sneaks into your system, it might perform the following:

  • Make changes to the system. It can potentially add redirects to current desktop icons or create new ones.
  • Alter browser settings (set your browser search engine, new tab URL, and homepage to http://www.safeservesearch.com) and prevent users from reverting them.
  • Record non-personally identifiable data (IP addresses, URLs visited, search queries, etc.) The collected data might be sold to third parties for advertisement purposes.
  • Display numerous suspicious ads. The affected browser might display many intrusive ads, even if the program is disabled. These ads can link to websites of dubious content or download and install malware/PUPs.
  • Redirect to unknown third-party websites. Ironically, it is stated in Terms of Use, that using Safeservesearch might lead to third-party content which Plasko Interactive Ltd has no responsibility for and the company cannot be accountable for any damages caused
  • Run background processes and slow down your machine. In some cases, developers of adware misuse systems’ resources for such activities as cryptocurrency mining.[2]
  • Lead to browser crashes and slow response times.

Evidently, browser hijack can cause various problems to users. Therefore, we advise Safeservesearch.com removal as soon as it enters your system. The easiest way to achieve this is by using anti-malware/anti-spyware tool as ReimageIntego or similar. Using security software is especially recommended if you haven’t downloaded this extension yourself, but it arrived on the system in the bundle.

However, if you do not want to proceed with the automatic removal of this PUP, you could follow our step-by-step guide at the end of this article. Our team has prepared instructions that will help you to remove Safeservesearch.com from the browser and set your preferred homepage.

Image of Safeservesearch.com hijackerSafeservesearch.com is a highly suspicious search tool that spreads as Privacy Switch browser extension.

Careless freeware installation may lead to hijacked web browser

Privacy Switch browser extension has an official website. However, the download button redirects to non-existent Chrome Web Store page. Thus, it’s impossible to download this add-on directly. Though, the PUP has other ways to sneak into the system unnoticed.

Safeservesearch hijack might occur when users download and install free programs. Inexperienced users often download free software from the internet and rush through steps while installing it.

Users tend to use Quick/Recommended settings (as advised by developers) as an easy way to skip lengthy processes. Therefore, many PUPs install into users machines without them knowing about it. It is highly recommended always to use Advanced/Custom settings, read through installation instructions carefully and opt out of any questionable programs.

Cyber security specialists from bedynet.ru[3] also advise staying away from questionable freeware download sources, P2P networks, torrents, and do not install any software from pop-ups or shady websites.

Eliminate Safeservesearch.com redirect virus from your computer

Safeservesearch removal is not complicated. We have written a step-by-step guide which will escort you with complete virus removal. Please follow every step carefully and in the correct order as browser hijack might reappear after improper removal.

The manual way of removing might be time-consuming and a bit confusing to inexperienced users. Hence we can offer you to remove Safeservesearch.com automatically. All you have to do is obtain an anti-malware software which will detect and remove any related components.

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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove Safeservesearch.com, follow these steps:

Erase Safeservesearch.com from Windows systems

To remove Safeservesearch.com hijacker entirely from Windows OS, follow these steps:

  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 Safeservesearch.com and related programs
    Here, look for Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com 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.

Delete Safeservesearch.com from Mac OS X system

To delete Privacy Switch extension and its related components, uninstall associated apps and then check the affected browser.

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

Remove Safeservesearch.com from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Safeservesearch.com-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 Safeservesearch.com, 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 Safeservesearch.com and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Safeservesearch.com-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com-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

Get rid of Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Safeservesearch.com from Google Chrome

Open Google Chrome's extensions. Carefully look through them and uninstall questionable entries. You should also reset the browser in order to make sure that all tracking cookies or invisible entries are eliminated. Also, after resetting the browser, you will be able to customize your startup page and set legit search provider.

  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 Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com 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 Safeservesearch.com, 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 Safeservesearch.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

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

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