WebCouponSearch browser hijacker (Free Guide)

WebCouponSearch browser hijacker Removal Guide

What is WebCouponSearch browser hijacker?

WebCouponSearch is a browser hijacker designed to promote sponsored links to the infected users

WebCouponSearchWebCouponSearch is a potentially unwanted application that is commonly downloaded along with freeware from third-party websites

WebCouponSearch is a fake search tool that might hijack your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or another web browser. Typically, it arrives as a browser extension without users noticing, as the methods to spread it are relatively deceptive, software bundling[1] and misleading advertisements being among them.

Once installed, the potentially unwanted application would append its own homepage and new tab immediately – portal.webcouponsearch.com – which would be apparent immediately after the browser is opened. Due to this, every time users startup the browser, they would be likely to use the hijacker's search tool instead of the regular google.com or another preferred provider.

When performing searches, users would be exposed to search results that are not entirely genuine. The first and the most significant change is the search provider modification, which is usually set to search.yahoo.com, searchlee.com, nearbyme.io, or similar (it all depends on your location). While Yahoo, Bing, and a few other providers are reputable and trusted worldwide, other ones – not so much.

While it is common for browser hijackers to insert ads at the top of search results, the untrustworthy providers might sometimes use misleading information or links to dubious websites at the top. As a result, people might be tricked into installing other potentially unwanted programs, disclosing their personal data, or losing money to useless subscription services. Therefore, we strongly recommend not trusting these ads and immediately proceeding with the hijacker's removal.

Name WebCouponSearch
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted application, extension
Distribution Software bundles, fake updates, deceptive ads, malicious websites
Symptoms Search results are filled with sponsored links and ads; homepage and new tab address is set to portal.webcouponsearch.com; ads encountered more often; searches are redirected through an alternative provider
Risks You might be tricked into installing insecure software or pay for useless services; privacy issues might also arise due to information gathering practices
Removal You can get rid of potentially unwanted programs manually, although performing a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or another security software can be much more effective
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

The broad browser hijacker family

Browser hijackers are possibly the most common minor infections out there and came a long way since they were first introduced in the early 2000s. Initially, these potentially unwanted programs were very intrusive, and people had a lot of difficulties trying to remove them – the notorious Ask Toolbar or Wajam are the best examples.

At some point, Microsoft even started reading the former as malware, although the parent company drastically changed its operational principles in order to avoid such diagnoses by security vendors. However, Ask continues to produce browser hijackers – FindInfoQuickly and FindSmartResults are some of the examples we recently discussed.

The truth is that these apps differ not from one another, and we can spot this behavior from a family of hijackers that WebCouponSearch comes from. One could say that the previous versions are practically identical. They simply differ slightly visually, as well as having different names.

There are plenty of reasons why developers of potentially unwanted programs do that. One of the main ones is due to the bad reputation that the app might accumulate over time, so, as long as the name is changed, there are no traces to fall back to. Functionality-wise, all the apps that came before, such as TopAdblockSearch or DirectConverterz, have exactly the same functionality, they include a few widgets that are placed on the primary page (calculator, currency converter, etc.).

Besides that, the search function works exactly the same as it did before: it directs users to an alternative search provider, inserts ads into searches, and gathers user data in the background. The hijacker's name does not correlate with its functionality, so you won't find any coupons or discounts while having the extension installed. What you would get instead is compromised search results and an increased number of ads. The promotional links within the results might promote potentially unwanted programs or expose you to scams.

WebCouponSearch virusBrowser hijackers commonly collect user information related to their browsing activities

Another aspect is privacy. Users might not be aware that data is collected about them for as long as they browse the web while having the app installed. Here's a short outtake from the app's Privacy Policy page:[2]

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.

In addition, it is also noted that personal information might also be collected if such is provided by the user directly. Thus, if you want more privacy, avoid the WebCouponSearch hijacker.

Removal explained

There are two ways a potentially unwanted program might be installed on your device – as an extension within the browser environment or as an application on the system level. Both methods help hijackers fulfill their functions, although the latter allows more control over the installed system.

Since the so-called WebCouponSearch virus is spread as an extension, you should check the browser settings first and remove it at once. However, we strongly recommend you perform a full system scan with powerful anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, in order to ensure that no malicious processes or programs are running in the background. This is especially true if you frequent high-risk websites and did not install the hijacker intentionally.

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

MS Edge

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

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

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Once you uninstall the extension, you are not done yet. Potentially unwanted programs and third-party websites collect data about you, e.g., websites you visit, links you click, search queries you type, what type of browser you use and its preferences, and much more.

This information is typically used for multiple reasons, such as the effectiveness of ads or the provision of relevant content. Likewise, cookies are used to save certain settings on all websites. Unfortunately, some PUPs and websites might share anonymous data with third parties for marketing purposes, which does not improve your privacy in any way. In fact, it can do the complete opposite, as data might not be protected adequately.

Likewise, cookie or session hijacking[3] is also a threat that lingers, and some users might be affected by it. For example, if your browser is not updated on time, it might be vulnerable to breaches, which would allow cybercriminals to steal cookies and other data from your PC. With its help, they could potentially steal logins and enter your personal accounts without interruption.

Therefore, security experts recommend clearing web data from browsers from time to time. Additionally, making sure that all software on the system is updated is also important for computer security. You can clean leftover items either by employing ReimageIntego maintenance and repair utility or by following the manual instructions below.

Google 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

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

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

Safari

  • Click Safari > Clear History…
  • From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  • Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
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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.

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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