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Remove Secure-surf.net virus / Virus Removal Steps - updated Jun 2020

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Secure surf is a browser hijacker that pretends to care about users' privacy

Secure-surf.net virus example

Secure surf is a browser hijacker that uses deception to make users believe that it is a great alternative to reputable search providers such as Google or Yahoo. However, the application is usually installed along with freeware and shareware hosted on the third-party sites, so users rarely install it intentionally.

Soon after the infiltration, Secure surf hijacker takes of Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or another installed browser, and sets its new tab address along with the homepage to hxxp://secure-surf.net. The plain-looking startup page is then used to present users with alternative search results that are filled with sponsored links.

Besides, users who are infected with Secure surf virus will also experience an increased amount of pop-up and other types of ads on all sites that they visit and sometimes might even get redirected to potentially dangerous ones. Finally, the PUP does not provide any type of documentation that relates to its usage or users' privacy, so the gathered information might be used for nefarious purposes. If you noticed Secure surf hijack, you should immediately get rid of it by using our instructions at the bottom of the article.

Name Secure surf
Type Browser hijacker
Homepage set to hxxp://secure-surf.net
Related hijacker Secure-surf.com
Infiltration means Software bundling, malicious ads, third-party sites, etc.
Potential risks Installation of other potentially unwanted software, malware infiltration, sensitive information disclosure to cybercriminals, etc.
Symptoms Hijacked search engine, new tab URL and homepage, redirects to suspicious sites, sponsored links at the top of the search results, etc.
Termination To get rid of the hijack quickly, scan your computer with anti-malware software like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego; alternatively, you can use manual removal guide below

Secure surf is a type of a potentially unwanted software focuses on ad-revenue,[1], so its main purpose is to expose users to various online advertisements to as many users as possible -for each click made, the PUP authors generate revenue (a scheme is called pay-per-click).

For that reason, Secure surf authors use software bundling technique to deploy the unwanted program to as many users as possible and hijack their browsers immediately after the infiltration. Unfortunately, many developers of deceptive programs also resort to obfuscation, preventing most of the users of performing an easy Secure surf removal.

Nevertheless, as soon as the victims open their browsers, they can see the difference right away: their preferred search engine is gone and replaced with a customized one which looks extremely poorly made, and that no effort was even put into it (even the search button is missing?!). What users are presented with, however, is a cheap slogan saying:

The search engine that respects your privacy

The statement is quite bold for a browser hijacking application that does not even provide a Privacy Policy for users to view – something that is mandatory to every legitimate program. Thus, it goes without saying that you should not trust Secure surf and all it is trying to represent, as it is fake. There are plenty of other search engines that focus on privacy and are legitimate, so we highly encourage you to avoid this one.

Here's what Secure surf virus might harvest while the program is installed on your device:

  • IP address
  • ISP
  • Geolocation
  • Technical details
  • Links clicked
  • Ads interacted with
  • Bookmarks
  • Cookies,[2] etc.

Besides, Secure surf might even steal personal information you enter when using the browser – so be warned and do not disclose your email, name, credit card details, etc., as it might get stolen by cybercriminals. What is more, the connection to the site is marked as not secure by Google, meaning that it uses the frail HTTP connection instead of the safe HTTPS.[3]

After being added to a web browser, Secure Surf net redirects you through a bunch of different domains until it finally lands on us.search.yahoo.com. This feature is becoming very popular and keeps affecting hundreds of users.[4]

In other words, every time the users try to look up something online, they are forced to briefly visit at least 4 different websites before they are presented with the search results. We can only speculate what nasty malware such redirects may lead your device to pick up.

Secure surf Secure-surf.net is PUP designed to infiltrate computers and take over web browsers, so that users would click on sponsored content and generate the creators some ad-revenue. The image above shows the main page of this hijacker website.

To prevent unexpected viruses and similar issues related to the use of this malicious search engine, you should waste no time and get rid of it. To remove Secure surf virus from the infected device, jump to the end of this page to find its manual removal guide. Also, you can start its elimination immediately by running a full computer scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Unfortunately, but the questionable activity of Secure Surf virus does not end just there. The hijack of the system is followed by corrupted search results that are displayed for the user with the intention to earn the money from advertising.

Browser hijackers,[5] adware-type programs and similar PUPs modify their search results to display sponsored links and advertisements in the top positions, while the information which may be relevant to you is left at the bottom or is omitted completely. That is basically the opposite of what the regular search engines typically do and presents us yet another reason why you need to get rid of Secure-Surf.net.

On top of it all, malware may inject advertisements and links on sites that aren’t even accessed through this search provider. There is virtually no way to escape the nasty symptoms of the hijack. Unless of course, you perform Secure surf removal and dispose of all the virus components. You may do that now or after you are done reading this article which we highly suggest you do if you want to learn how to prevent similar malware from breaking into your PC again.

Protecting your PC from unwanted search engines

One does not need to be especially tech-savvy to prevent computer threats from sneaking into the computer. Computer defense can be reinforced by following 3 simple rules:

  • Running legal and updated antivirus software with advanced real-time protection while browsing the web;
  • Regularly updating installed applications and enabling automatic system updates;
  • Downloading software from legitimate and reliable sources and installing it via Advanced mode in order to disclose additionally attached components.

If you remember theses rules and apply them when browsing the web, you will be much less likely to get your PC infected with potentially unwanted programs.

Basics of Secure surf removal

If you have been suffering from unexpected redirects for a while, you should check your Mac or Windows OS for this hijacker. Browser hijackers and similar PUPs can show up on your computer when you don't expect that. Thus, it is useful to have at least a few Secure surf removal options prepared in advance.

Secure surf hijackThe main page of the Secure surf hijacker does not provide any information about Privacy Policy or Terms and Conditions of using the software - an immediate red flag.

One of the ways you can use to get rid of this redirect virus involves running an automatic system scan with some reliable anti-malware product. This method is recommended for everyone who doesn't want to waste time tailing after the viruses.

The second option you can use for eliminating unwanted redirects is manual virus elimination. Our experts developed professional instructions that are designed to help users remove Secure surf from the computers without employing additional software.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 Secure-surf.net virus, follow these steps:

Uninstall Secure-surf.net from Windows systems

To uninstall Secure Surf from Windows, follow the guide given below. You should remove all suspicious programs that you can't remember installing on the system.

  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 Secure-surf.net and related programs
    Here, look for Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net 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.

Get rid of Secure-surf.net from Mac OS X system

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

Remove Secure-surf.net from Applications folder:

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

Eliminate Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove Secure-surf.net virus from Microsoft Edge

To fix Microsoft Edge, don't forget to reset this browser. Here is a guide for that:

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 Secure-surf.net-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

Delete Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Secure-surf.net from Google Chrome

Reset your Google Chrome browser to eliminate virus-assigned domain from the default website position.

  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 Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net 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 Secure-surf.net, 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 Secure-surf.net removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

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

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