This article aims to help you with the removal of Defend Search redirect from affected browser and system. Follow the detailed guide at the end to get rid of this hoax search engine in full.
The Defend Search is a nasty hijacker that has been detected to affect users worldwide. Once it manages to access a target browser it changes some of its default settings without your permission. As long as it has access to your browser and system it is capable of collecting various data and generating lots of annoying ads.
|Short Description||Hoax search engine that affects main browser settings without your knowledge.|
|Symptoms||The main page of this hijacker appears every time you open an affected web browser. The number of generated online advertisements insreases.|
|Distribution Method||Software bundles, Infected installers, Corrutped web pages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Defend Search.|
Defend Search – Distribution
The presence of Defend Search hijacker in your preferred web browser could be associated with the presence of any potentially undesired program on your Mac. Since programs of this kind are primarily distributed with the help of shady techniques, you might have installed the one associated with the hijacker unintentionally.
Among these shady methods are like to be software bundling, corrupted third-party apps installers, malvertising and more.
Various software bundles are believed to be used as a primary spread channel for this undesired program. This could be explained by the fact that many free apps have an open source code that could be easily accessed and modified by malicious intenders.
Changes usually affect the installers of these apps. They could be set to install Defend Search along with the primary app. Unfortunately, you could easily miss added extras and start them unintentionally on your Mac. This could happen when you install apps by following the regular steps. Since they rarely reveal the presence of additional apps, you could unintentionally run them with a click on the Finish button.
Happily, there is a way to prevent undesired apps like Defend Search from invading your Mac by selecting the Advanced/Custom configuration option presented in apps’ installers. Once you open this menu you could be able to reveal the presence of any undesired apps and opt out their installation.
Defend Search may also be pushed by dubious browser add-ons installed in the affected browser. Its installation may have happened after a visit to a corrupted web page.
Defend Search – More Information
The hijacker dubbed Defend Search is considered to be an undesired program mainly because of its capability to modify essential browser settings without your permission. As soon as it manages to run configuration files on your Mac, it becomes able to alter essential browser settings. As a consequence, its main page starts to load every time you open an affected web browser.
Affected may also be the settings of your default search engine and new tab page.
Even though this search engine looks like the ones you could trust, it appears to be a hoax one. As soon as you enter a query and hit search Defend Search generates a page full of sponsored results. Even if the results for some searches seems to be clear from ads, they may still not be the most relevant available across the web.
The infection with this hijacker may also lead to the appearance of a lot more advertisements in the browser. As a result, it may become sluggish and completely unresponsive at times. You should be very careful with all the pop-ups, pop-unders, new tab pages, videos, images and links to sponsored content you see in the affected browser as some of them may be misused by hackers for the accomplishment of their malicious purposes. Eventually, a visit of the wrong one could result in the automatic installation of severe malware on your Mac.
Another unwanted issue that occurs as a result of using the deceptive services of Defend Search is unauthorized data collection. With the help of different tracking technologies, it could steal valuable data from the affected browser and then use it for business and advertising purposes.
To sum up, Defend Search is a nasty hijacker that invades your browser no matter whether you want it there or not. None of the legitimate search engines alters browser settings without asking for your explicit permission. At least they notify you about the occurrence of eventual changes. Furthermore, it spies on your online activities and floods the affected browser with lots of annoying ads. So the best choice you could make is the immediate removal of Defend Search from your system.
Remove Defend Search Browser Hijacker from Your Mac
In order to remove Defend Search hijacker as well as all files associated with its presence in the browser, you need to complete all the steps presented in the removal guide below. The guide contains both manual and automatic removal instructions as combined they will help you to remove this undesired program in full.
In case you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall Defend Search and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Defend Search via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove Defend Search – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Defend Search files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Defend Search, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Defend Search FAQ
What is Defend Search on your Mac?
The Defend Search threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your Mac.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac 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 MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of Defend Search on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #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 Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like Defend Search?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Defend Search?
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 e-mail 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 activiites 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 reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.