This article aims to help you with the removal of the nasty extensionHeadlineAlley from affected browser and system. Follow the detailed guide at the end to get rid of all harmful files in full.
HeadlineAlley is a deceptive browser extension that could suddenly start to appear in your preferred web browser. It is owned by MindSpark which is a company often associated with the distribution of various potentially unwanted apps. Their nasty browser extension is designed to obtain certain details from affected web browsers and keep a record of them on its servers. Once installed in the browser it usually injects many ads and interrupts browsing sessions with redirects to other poorly secured websites.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, PUP|
|Short Description||A questionable browser extension that alters basic brower settings in order to provide deceptive search enigne and hoax services.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab page and search enigne in preferred web browser could be set to dislay the main page of a browser hijacker. Browser slowdowns occur due to increased number of online ads.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss HeadlineAlley.|
HeadlineAlley Extension – Spread Techniques
One of the most preferred spread paths for potentially unwanted and harmful programs like HeadlineAlley is software bundling. This technique enables developers of various free third-party apps to inject the installation code of the PUP into their installers and which allows them to monetize their projects. In order to trick as many users as possible to install the undesired app without noticing it the regular steps presented in the installers do not reveal the existence of any additional components. So in case that you regularly install new apps only by clicking the Next button until the Finish one appears on screen, you may have unintentionally allowed HeadlineAlley to access your device.
If you wonder how to prevent such unpleasant consequences and keep your system secure, the advice is simple – find the Advanced/Custom configuration steps and read carefully what is mentioned there. Most of the times these steps notify you of the presence of any bundled “useful” apps that will be installed along with the primary one. There is no doubt that you don’t need such apps to reside on your device so to keep it safe you need to opt out their installation or at least have a second chance to decide whether you want the primary app or not.
This undesired browser extension may be also distributed by other deceptive websites and undesired apps. One of the websites detected to be used as a spread channel for HeadlineAlley spying extension is getlocalnewsnow.com. The main page of this website presents misleading messages that offer you instant access to fresh news from your browser new tab as shown below:
However, a click on the “Continue” button causes a redirect to the official download page of HeadlineAlley PUP which appears to be another spread channel used for the distribution of its infection code:
How you may land on these websites is by browser redirects caused by any other potentially unwanted program installed on your PC. Except these two websites, various other domains may be used for the distribution of this nasty program.
HeadlineAlley Extension – More About Its Impact
Once HeadlineAlley accesses your browser it automatically receives the following permissions:
- Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
- Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
- Manage your downloads
- Manage your apps, extensions, and themes
By obtaining all these permissions, the undesired extension becomes able to alter main browser settings that affect the homepages, new tab pages and default search engines of all target browsers. Upon changes you may find that the infamous browser hijacker MyWay.com to be set as homepage in your preferred web browser. No matter that the design of this search engine resembles a lot the designed of Google and other trustworthy search engines, its deceptive services may cause more harm than good.
In fact, the main purpose of HeadlineAlley and its services is the collection of valuable details from the infected browser. Once it sends the data to its servers its owners could use it for aggressive advertising campaigns based on your interests. As a result, your browsing sessions may be invaded by numerous online ads of all kinds – banners, videos, pop-ups, pop-unders, in-text links, misleading images, etc.
This, in turn, slows down the performance of your browser and what’s worse puts your system at risk of malware infections. You need to be very careful which of the displayed ads you visit as some of them may land you on compromised web pages that install severe malware infections directly on your PC.
As found in the policy the undesired HeadlineAlley extension and toolbar is owned by the company MindSpark which in fact is a well-known distributor of numerous nasty apps designed to track online activities. Just to name a few reported by our team – ShoppingDealsLive, , VideoConvert, Mywebsearch.com.
The policy further reports that HeadlineAlley is an app that could gather both personally and non-personally identifiable information from all infected browsers. So as long as it is running in your browser and its files on your system it receives your agreement for the collection of the following details:
- Your name
- Your address
- Email address
- Number of your page views
- What links you clicked
- Telephone number
- Username and password
- Browser type
- Preferred language
- Other browser-related data
- Keyword query, search query text and search results you clicked on
- Adverts clicked and cookie data
- Your login times
We may receive information from third-parties, including our authorized service providers, IAC affiliates, advertising companies, and ad networks. These third parties may display ads via the MS Services.These companies may use tracking technologies, such as cookies, to collect information about users who view or interact with these advertisements.
All information acquired by Mindspark could be shared with third-party businesses. In case you value your private space and want to stop this nasty app from spying on your online behavior, you should remove it and its associated files instantly from the infected system.
How to Remove HeadlineAlley Browser Extension
In order to remove the undesired HeadlineAlley and all associated files from your PC make sure to complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It presents both manual and automatic removal instructions that combined will help you to remove this undesired program in full. The automatic approach guarantees maximum efficiency as a scan with an advanced anti-malware tool reveals the exact location of all malicious files and objects created by HeadlineAlley. The results enable you to access and remove all harmful files from the infected PC. Have in mind that files associated with this hijacker may be detected with different names than HeadlineAlley.
In case that you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.
What Is HeadlineAlley?
The HeadlineAlley threat is adware or browser redirect virus.
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of HeadlineAlley?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like HeadlineAlley?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does HeadlineAlley Work?
Once installed, HeadlineAlley can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
HeadlineAlley can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is HeadlineAlley Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the HeadlineAlley Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this HeadlineAlley how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on HeadlineAlley?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the HeadlineAlley threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.