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Remove Play-bar.net Redirect

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-redirect-main-page

Play-bar.net is the web address of a browser hijacker redirect. When you do a search, you will get redirected to a few places. One of the places is the query service of SafeFinder, which is another browser hijacker program. Your searches will be filtered by it. Play-bar.net can change the homepage, new tab and search engine of any browsers you use. To remove the hijacker and all its files, you should read the article in full.

Threat Summary

Name Play-bar.net
Type Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short Description All browsers on your computer can be affected. The hijacker redirects you and filters your search queries.
Symptoms Browser settings which are changed are the homepage, search engine and new tab. You might see sponsored content and advertisements while you browse.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Play-bar.net

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Play-bar.net.

Play-bar.net – Methods of Distribution

Play-bar.net has a few distribution methods. Its software can hop onto your computer via third-party installations. Software which is bundled with others or one that is freeware can distribute the hijacker to your computer device. Setups like these usually have additive components set for installation, by default. The hijacker might alter browser settings before you realize it. Avoiding installations of this sort is doable if you find a Custom or an Advanced settings menu around the setup.

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-redirect-google-chrome-web-store-extension

Play-bar.net could use various methods to distribute its search engine to your browser software. As seen in the above image, one of these ways is through an extension found in the Google Chrome web store. Redirect links and advertisements are another distribution way, especially if opened from suspicious websites. Banners, pop-ups and various types of ads could be used, as well. This hijacker could distribute itself with the aid of websites which are affiliates and partners with Play-bar.net. The following browsers could be affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

Play-bar.net – In Detail

Play-bar.net is the main domain of a browser hijacker redirect that bears the same name – Play Bar. You can see the homepage of the hijacker in the screenshot right here:

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-redirect-main-page

The Play-bar.net main page is very simplified and consists of a colored background, a search bar, and a link to the extension of this hijacker. That same page will replace your new tab page, starting page and search engine for almost all browsers you use on the affected computer. The hijacker could tweak the preferences of the browsers, too.

An extension related to the hijacker exists, and there might be other additional components present on your personal computer that can generate redirects and adverts. The redirects can land you on dubious websites or ones that deliver sponsored third party content. Owners of such websites could be somehow partnered or affiliated with Play-bar.net.

The browser extension does the following:

  • Read and change your data on play-bar.net and query.yahooapis.com
  • Read your browsing history
  • Change your search settings to: play-bar.net

In the image shown below, you can view the search results of Play-bar.net. You get redirected to the search results page of Yahoo, but that is just the surface. Before reaching that end of the redirect, you go through servers of SafeFinder, that is another browser hijacker. The tactic of landing to a reputable search engine’s results is used by this hijacker, to try getting people into trusting it.

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-redirect-edward-snowden-search-results

Play-bar.net can gather all sorts of information from you and your online activity, including the search queries you make. Servers of the hijacker and those of SafeFinder are responsible for that information collection. You can read more extensively about the Safe Finder hijacker from the article in the blog.

You can view the redirect in action from the below screenshot:

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-safefinder-safe-finder-redirect

The search engine acquires every bit of information coming from your search queries. You should be careful with what you provide as personal details in searches while using the search engine of the hijacker. As there might be more redirects to various servers, you do not know in the end to how many places that information will end up on. Continue reading to see what the privacy policy of SafeFinder states and what precisely Play-bar.net sends out as information.

Play-bar.net – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of the Play-bar.net site is non-existent or very well hidden. As search queries go through the Safe Finder browser redirect its policy applies. The platform collects personally and non-personally identifying information. The information could be disclosed to third-party affiliates.

You can see the Privacy Policy here:

stf-play-bar-net-browser-hijacker-safefinder-safe-finder-privacy-policy

Information which can be collected is the following:

  • Browser (type and language)
  • Operating System (type and language)
  • Your name and address
  • Geo location and IP address
  • Date and time of access
  • Your time zone
  • Advertisements viewed
  • Offers and services that interest you
  • Default search
  • VPN and Proxy services
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Interaction with social networks
  • Screen Resolution
  • Search quires and browsing history
  • Pages browsed and content viewed

If you are using services associated with Play-bar.net or Safe Finder, or any applications connected to them, then by the Policy’s writing you are bound to it and give your consent for your data collection. The policy states that cookies, web beacons, pixel tags and similar technologies can be used for accumulating more information. In cases of merger, sale or bankruptcy of the Play-bar.net website, all personal data is to be sold as an asset to the new owner company.

Remove Play-bar.net Completely

To remove Play-bar.net manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and all of its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.

Manually delete Play-bar.net from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the Play-bar.net threat: Manual removal of Play-bar.net requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Remove or Uninstall Play-bar.net in Windows
2. Remove Play-bar.net from Your Browser and Your Registry Editor

Automatically remove Play-bar.net by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove Play-bar.net with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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