Top Movies Links browser hijacker (Tutorial) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

Top Movies Links browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is Top Movies Links browser hijacker?

Top Movies Links browser extension imbues your browser with ads and sponsored links

Top Movies Links browser hijackerTop Movies Links can be downloaded from Chrome store, or a third-party site

Potentially unwanted programs are very common. As the category's name suggests, these apps are not usually installed intentionally, and Top Movies Links is not an exception. While the extension can be downloaded from the official Chrome web store, it does not mean that it is useful in any way; if anything, it might reduce the browsing quality and insert ads into search results.

As soon as the browser hijacker is installed, users would notice that their homepage and new tab address is no longer what they used to be – it has been replaced by the extension. The playful looks of the background are not the only modification, however, as a new search bar is also added.

By using this search tool, users would be redirected to a different provider, namely, Bing. While this would automatically be an unwanted feature for many, this is not the end – search results would also be littered with sponsored links and ads. This means that the top results are paid for and not genuine.

At the same time, when we look at the name of the extension, we couldn't find the promised “top movie” links anywhere while using the app. If you want to find out how to properly get rid of this app, please follow the information we provide below.

Name Top Movies Links
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Distribution Software bundle packages, third-party websites, Chrome store
Symptoms Unknown extension or application is installed on the system; homepage and new tab address are set to something else; a customized search engine is appended to the homepage; search results are filled with sponsored links and ads
Risks Installation of other potentially unwanted programs, privacy risks due to information gathering practices, 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 After you get rid of all the potentially unwanted programs or/and malware from your system, use ReimageIntego tune-up utility to clean your web browsers and repair any damaged system files

Alleged functions and deceptive tricks

Initially, the app is presented as a useful tool that can ” find all your favorite movies, shows, information about actors/actresses and learn more.” This sounds great on paper, as many users could be interested in something like this. In fact, many browser extensions are used in order to enhance the web browsing experience, although not all of them meet the expectations or promises made.

According to the “About Us” section of the developer, this extension that “can easily be nominated for the Oscars,” which is a rather bold statement. Looking further, we receive promises of an “Advanced search function that helps you to find any movie-related content.”

However, we did not find ANY links that lead to the alleged movies. Instead, you can see links to the following popular services (along with the floaty air balloons in the background):

In the meantime, the search bar provided at the middle of the homepage did not differ from any other typical browser hijacker (e.g., Search.ricktab.com, ProRadioSearch, or Around Tasks), and its behavior is very predictable.

Top Movies Links virusAs soon as the hijacker is installed, it changes the homepage and redirects search results to Bing or another provider

First of all, a new search box is not the same one you are used to – it has been customized, which means that all your searches are forwarded to a different search provider, in this case, Bing. While the latter is a completely legitimate search tool (although most users prefer Google), the results that are shown can hardly be trusted.

The top results are always filled with ads and, in some cases, can be difficult to distinguish from genuine links. The sponsored content is the alleged “advanced” functionality that the developers were talking about; in the meantime, each click made on such links is monetized thanks to the affiliate marketing and pay-per-click scheme.

The sponsored links are usually safe, although websites of dubious content might show up there as well. Therefore, it is not advisable to explore them. If you want to regain your normal browsing function, remove Top Movies Links from your web browser at once. Follow the instructions below for that.

Top Movies Links removal explained

Browser hijackers are not considered to be malware of any form but rather something that might be unwanted by most. As explained above, the developers of this app brand their product as something amazing, although it fulfills no function and provides no benefits for the user (the default google.com can be used to look for “Top Movies” without having additional extensions installed).

If you have never installed this app on your system, you should get rid of it. Below you will find the instructions on how to do that. Before you proceed, you should also perform a full system scan with anti-malware software to ensure that no other PUPs or malware are running in the background.

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

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 unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

MS Edge

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

The contradicting Privacy Policy

Upon installation of the extension, you will receive a warning from your web browser (be it Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or MS Edge), which warns users about the following:

It can:

Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
Read your browsing history on all your signed-in devices

While it is not unusual for extensions, applications, or websites to collect some anonymous data, browser hijackers take it a step further. For example, while most claim that no personal data is collected, the IP address (which is always recorded) is considered PII in some jurisdictions (e.g., some US states and the EU). Search terms are another commonly gathered info, and it might include personal data as well.

When it comes to Top Movies Links' privacy policy, it is very confusing, to say the least. The initial statement states, “We don’t collect Personal or Non-Personal Information” with a confirmation of this statement under the information use section. However, the next sentence completely contradicts the previous one:[1]

We may disclose or share Information such as IP address, Browser User-Agent and Search Term with a Search provider solely if applicable for retrieving search results.

The document then proceeds with explaining more about data sharing practices with third parties, usage of cookies and other technologies, etc. Speaking of which, once you are done with the removal of Top Movies Links, you should clean the web browser from the accumulated data and cookies; otherwise, the tracking will continue.

Top Movies Links privacy policyInconstancies within the privacy policy do not seem like a good sign for safe data gathering practice

To do that quickly, you can employ an automatic tool ReimageIntego or proceed with the instructions below. In general, security experts[2] recommend cleaning web cache and cookies from time to time for security and better performance.[3]

Chrome

  • 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.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

  • 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.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

MS Edge

  • 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.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge
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What to do if failed?
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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
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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

Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are

There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.

Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.

Data backups are important – recover your lost files

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.

While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.

About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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References