Secure Search Pro browser hijacker (virus) - Free Instructions

Secure Search Pro browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Secure Search Pro browser hijacker?

Secure Search Pro is a bogus browser extension that does not provide any security functions

Secure Search ProHijackers can completely alter the browsing experience

Secure Search Pro is a browser hijacker that can cause unwanted symptoms. Most hijackers change the main browser settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. However, they may also act as adware[1] and cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. Bogus browser extensions are also used to collect browsing-related information.

Even though the name of the plugin suggests that it should provide some security advantages, most hijackers do not work as advertised. They are simply used by crooks to generate passive income from pay-per-click advertising and data collection. Follow our guide to learn how to remove this intruder from your machine.

NAME Secure Search Pro
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The plugin may cause redirects and pop-up ads to appear in the corner of the screen; some users might experience settings changes, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS Pop-ups and redirects generated by the extension can lead to dangerous websites where people can get tricked into providing their personal information or downloading PUPs and malware
ELIMINATION Remove the extension via browser settings; performing a scan with professional security tools is recommended
FURTHER STEPS Use a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine

Privacy concerns

Most browser extensions can use cookies[2] to collect data such as your IP address, geolocation, websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online. Generally, this information is used to personalize the user experience. However, it can be turned into profit by crooks.

That is why security experts recommend clearing cookies and cache regularly. You can use a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego. It can clear cookies and cache automatically. Besides, this powerful software can fix most system errors, BSODs, corrupted files, and registry issues, which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

Secure Search Pro browser hijackerCookies collected by crooks can cause various privacy issues

Freeware installations are risky

Adware and other types of PUPs[3] usually enter the system as bundled software from freeware distribution platforms. Such sites do not disclose the fact that they include additional programs in the installers clearly, hoping that most users will not notice. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens most of the time.

It is best to choose official developer websites to get your software. Even though it might get costly, you will most likely save in the long run by not having your system damaged. You can also follow these steps whenever you are installing programs to prevent unwanted programs from installing together:

  • Always choose “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods
  • Read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
  • Inspect the file list and untick the boxes next to any programs that seem unrelated

Start the removal via browser settings

You should first try to locate the Secure Search Pro extension in your browser settings and then move on to the next step:

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 the 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

Check your system for PUPs

If you removed the Secure Search Pro browser hijacker from your extensions list but you still experience unpleasant symptoms like redirects to questionable pages and pop-ups, there might be adware hiding in your system. These kinds of programs usually get into the system unnoticed and perform various tasks in the background, like generating ads.

In this case, the unwanted behavior will not stop until you completely remove the PUA from your system. This can be tricky as they are often disguised as handy tools themselves. It could look like an antivirus, system optimizer, media player, etc.

We also found that manual removal sometimes results in the renewal of the infection as users fail to locate all the related files hidden in their system's folders. The best course of action against potentially unwanted programs is to use professional security tools as they can detect suspicious processes running in the background and eliminate them.

SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes can scan your system and eliminate the threats automatically with all the related files and entries. Anti-malware tools are also very helpful in preventing such infections as they can warn users about malicious programs trying to enter the system. However, if you know which program is at fault, and want to try uninstalling it yourself, 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 the 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 a 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

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
Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Expert in social media

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