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Remove Securesearch.me (Removal Guide) - Free Instructions

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

Securesearch.me – a b browser hijacker that tries to imitate Google

Securesearch.meSecuresearch.me is a potentially unwonted application that attempts to look like Google

Securesearch.me is a web address that you might suddenly find as your homepage on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another browser. If that happened to you, it means that you have a browser hijacker installed on your system – a type of a potentially unwanted program. This happens due to deceptive distribution techniques, as developers often hide these apps as optional components within the installers downloaded from third-party websites. Alternatively, you might also have been tricked by a fake update prompt or similar ad.

Once installed, the so-called Securesearch.me virus would manipulate the search results (redirect them to WebCrawler), insert ads in various places on the internet, and monitor your online browsing activity in the background. This information is gathered for marketing purposes, as it provides the developers the ability to send you targeted ads, increasing profits for them.

Name Securesearch.me 
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
IP address 172.67.145.39
Distribution Software bundles, suspicious ads on third-party sites, fake updates
Symptoms Suspicious extension or apps installed on the system; new tab and homepage set to http://securesearch.me; a customized search redirects all search results to WebCrawler (www.webcrawler.com/serp?q=); search results are filled with sponsored links; overall increased amount of ads
Risks Installation of other potentially unwanted programs, personal information disclosure to unknown parties, financial losses
Removal You can uninstall potentially unwanted programs by following the manual guide below or by scanning the computer with powerful anti-malware
Optional steps Adware or malware infections can cause significant damage to system files or disrupt normal settings. To revert these changes and remediate your operating system, perform a full scan with ReimageIntego repair software

Securesearch.me hijack becomes apparent immediately due to modifications to the browser it performs. For example, after entering the search query into a search engine, you would be redirected to WebCrawler – a provider that is known to be used by various potentially unwanted programs. Instead of seeing genuine results, you would be presented with dozens of ads placed at the top.

Since the “Ad” marking is relatively invisible, and most users are used to clicking on links that reside at the top, there is a high chance that clicks on ads would be performed. Each time such sponsored links are clicked, the developers receive a commission. Since the Securesearch.me hijacker might be installed on thousands of users' browsers, such a monetization method becomes extremely profitable. Unfortunately, users are the ones that have to deal with the unfortunate side-effects of the infection.

It is also important to note that Securesearch.me tries imitate Google very hard – it uses a distinct color pattern. Initially, the only visual difference is that there are few links included under the “Search” button. These links lead to most popular retailers, such as Amazon, The Home Depot, or Macy's. By adding these links, developers want to create an illusion that the app's presence is somehow useful.

Securesearch.me hijackSecuresearch.me is a browser hijacker that mainly spreads via software bundles

However, every modern browser can provide customization of the front page – so you can add links that are relevant to you. In other words, browser hijackers such as Securesearch.me bring little to no benefit to the end-users and instead have the main goal of feeding ads and monetize the pay-per-click[1] revenue.

There are more reasons to remove Securesearch.me from your computer, and that is privacy risks. The hijacker uses all sorts of information gathering technologies in order to collect the following:[2]

  • Technical information (IP address, unique identifier on Android, iOS, installed programs, operating system type, language preferences, etc.)
  • Usage information (visited websites, viewed content, clicked links, search queries, timestamps)
  • Social networks (interactions on social media)
  • If provided, registration-related data (name, home or work addresses, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, birth date and gender)
  • Support information

If you value your privacy and want to go back to a clutter-free browsing experience, hurry up with Securesearch.me removal. For that, you can either employ anti-malware software such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes or use our manual guide provided below. Browser changes might either be related to an extension appended to your browser or a program installed on your Mac or Windows system.

If you found additional unwanted programs or malware on your computer, we also recommend using ReimageIntego to eliminate all the inconstancies within the OS after the infection. Otherwise, you might face crashes, errors, lag, and other stability issues in the future.

Avoid unintentional installation of potentially unwanted programs

Despite the popular belief, security software alone will never guarantee that your computer will never be bothered by potentially unwanted software or malware. Your own actions play a big role in computer security and safety.

Users widely believe that PUPs such as adware, browser hijackers, scareware, and others, appear on their systems seemingly out of nowhere or that they self-install. However, it is far from the truth, as such apps typically spread via software bundling, and users themselves give permission for the infiltration (unintentionally, of course).

To avoid such a course of events in the future, follow these tips provided by tech experts from novirus.uk:[3]

  • Always prefer downloading software from official websites instead of third-party ones;
  • During the installation, always opt for Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended/Quick ones;
  • Remove all the ticks from pre-selected checkboxes;
  • Decline all the offers and watch out for misplaced buttons;
  • Read the fine print;
  • Install a powerful anti-malware program that would warn you about potentially unwanted applications.

Securesearch.me virusSecuresearch.me collects a variety of user information on a regular basis

Delete Securesearch.me hijacker and check for other unwanted programs

There are two different ways you can remove Securesearch.me virus from your computer. If you prefer the manual method, you should check all your web browsers for suspicious extensions first. If nothing is found, you should also check the installed applications folder on your Windows or a Mac computer. If you don't know how to perform these steps, you can rely on our step-by-step guide located below this article.

Alternatively, you could simply employ powerful security software that has the PUP detection feature. Nonetheless, it is important to note that not all security applications would be capable of spotting all browser hijackers and similar suspicious apps. Therefore, if you want to proceed with automatic Securesearch.me removal, you might have to use several different anti-malware programs to succeed. A browser reset might still be required in some cases.

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 Securesearch.me, follow these steps:

Eliminate Securesearch.me from Windows systems

get rid of potentially unwanted programs on Windows machines:

  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 Securesearch.me and related programs
    Here, look for Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me 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.

Remove Securesearch.me from Mac OS X system

If you are operating a Mac, follow these steps to remove applications fully:

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

Remove Securesearch.me from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me-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

Uninstall Securesearch.me from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Uninstall all the unwanted Firefox extensions to get rid of the hijack:

  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 Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Securesearch.me from Google Chrome

You can also reset Google Chrome to ensure that no traces of the Securesearch.me virus remain:

  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 Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me 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 Securesearch.me, 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 Securesearch.me 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
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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