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
Hijackers 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 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 FortectIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine|
That is why security experts recommend clearing cookies and cache regularly. You can use a maintenance tool like FortectIntego. 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.
Cookies collected by crooks can cause various privacy issues
Freeware installations are risky
Adware and other types of PUPs 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
- 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:
- 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 the unwanted plugin and click Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
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:
- 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 the uninstallation process is complete and click OK.
- Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are a 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
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.