SportSearchNow browser hijacker Removal Guide
What is SportSearchNow browser hijacker?
SportSearchNow won't help you find information about sports
SportSearchNow is a potentially unwanted program that changes browser settings to show you ads
If you have never heard about browser hijackers, SportSearchNow is a perfect example of one. These applications, usually installed as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, or MS Edge, are typically spread via software bundle packages or deceptive ads. Hence, many users only notice the infiltration only after they open their web browsers.
Once installed, the browser hijacker changes the homepage and new tab address to portal.sportsearchnow.com and also implements a customized search box at the middle, which is meant to be used for information searching. This is where even more changes can be observed – the results are nothing like they used to. The search provider is changed to one of the following (depending on the user location):
While some of these providers are fully legitimate and trustworthy, the others – not so much. Regardless of which web address your searches are redirected to, the results can no longer be trusted, as you would always see sponsored links and ads at the very top. This is done deliberately as users subconsciously tend to click links that are located there. This drives traffic to predetermined websites, all while the SportSearchNow developers monetize the process.
If you have noticed unexpected browser changes, you should always investigate. While these modifications can simply annoying and bothersome, there are security and privacy concerns surrounding them. Below you will find more information about this particular browser hijacker and ways to clean your computer effectively.
|Distribution||Software bundling, deceptive ads, fake updates, third-party websites|
|Symptoms||Manipulated web browser settings: homepage, new tab, and search engine set to portal.sportsearchnow.com; all searches are filled with sponsored content and are redirected to searchlee.com or another provider|
|Risks||Installation of other potentially unwanted programs, monetary losses, personal data disclosure to suspicious parties|
|Uninstall||The removal process can be initiated either manually or automatically with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes or another reputable security application|
|Optional steps||After you eliminate the hijacker, you should also clean your web browsers to avoid tracking and other issues. You can use ReimageIntego as a quick solution|
SportSearchNow: a recycled application
Potentially unwanted programs, namely – hijackers, are very easy to produce, as it does not require any advanced IT skills. Precisely due to this reason, such apps rarely include any useful features, regardless of how they are advertised. If you read the description of a browser extension, you can commonly find popular phrases like “enhanced search results,” “faster browsing,” and similar.
In many cases, the hijacker authors try to appeal to a certain audience and go with some type of theme. SportSearchNow, for example, kind of implies that it could help people to search for sports information easier, although this couldn't be further from the truth. Besides the basic search function, this app does not provide anything related to sports. So, if you can use your default search engine to find information about it, why would you want this app to be installed in the first place? That being said, the developers then try to appeal to users in different ways.
The app belongs to a broader family of browser hijackers that have been spreading around the internet for several years now. The trick the developers employ is simple – they do not innovate or change their apps and, in terms of functionality, all of them are virtually identical. Simply put, SportSearchNow is just a copy from previous apps, and all that was changed is the name and the appearance.
The search results get changed by the hijacker
There are a few features that are meant to keep people seemingly interested in the functions of the app – currency converters, calculators, and similar basic features are embedded on the main page. However, this can be easily accessed via Google or other reliable providers without having your browsers hijacked.
All in all, SportSearchNow brings nothing to the table and instead changes the browsing preferences in order to insert more ads into users' searches. Besides, some of the provided links or ads might not be accurate or even secure, so be warned about those. We strongly recommend eliminating potentially unwanted applications for privacy and security reasons.
How to effectively remove SportSearchNow
Browser hijackers have been around for many years and, while currently they are not considered to be malicious – at least not as much as threats like ransomware or backdoors. Some years ago, these apps tended to be much more aggressive with their functions, were gathering copious amounts of user data, and were very difficult to get rid of.
Thanks to many regulations that have been implemented over the years, these apps became much less dangerous and had to be moderated much more in order not to be blocked by every security application or removed from official download sources. Nonetheless, there are plenty of third-party websites which distribute software that Google Chrome Store (or any other reputable source) would not be allowed in – SportSearchNow is a great example.
Plenty of apps have been removed over time from the official stores, including its predecessors BestConverterz, MovieSearchOnline, or SearchPDFConverters. If you have one of the variations installed on the browser, you need to first access its settings and remove the extension – here's how:
- 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.
- 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.
- Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
- Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
After you remove SportSearchNow from your browser, you should not yet consider the process complete. There could be potentially other unwanted apps or even malware installed on your system, especially if you tend to download freeware often from third-party websites. Note that torrents and similar websites distribute threats like Tisc ransomware, so you should stay away from them at all costs.
You should now perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another powerful security tool to ensure that there are no malicious programs running and stealing your personal information or performing other malicious tasks in the background.
Clean your browsers to avoid further issues and data tracking
Non-Personal Information may be automatically transmitted by the user's device. When using our Service, we assign your device with a log file, a cookie (session or persistent), web beacons or other related technologies, to collect Non-Personal Information with respect to your activity in connection with our Service.
Therefore, we strongly recommend you remove cookies and other web data after you get rid of the hijacker to avoid being tracked. In general, security experts recommend deleting cookies from time to time as they could be hijacked by cybercriminals for malicious purposes.
- Click on Menu and pick Settings.
- Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
- Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
- Click Clear data.
- Click Menu and pick Options.
- Go to Privacy & Security section.
- Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
- Click on Clear Data…
- Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.
- Click on Menu and go to Settings.
- Select Privacy and services.
- Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
- Under Time range, pick All time.
- Select Clear now.
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
Note that resetting the browser also works, although it is usually not worth the hassle.
How to prevent from getting browser hijacker
Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool
Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.
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To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.