Remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker Fully From Your PC - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com

Remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker Fully From Your PC

NameIstartsurf.com Browser Hijacker
TypeBrowser hijacker.
Short DescriptionSets istartsurf.com as a home page and a new tab page and begins injecting different forms of advertised content to the user, such as redirects.
SymptomsMay change the homepage and new tab page. May cause redirects. May slow down PC.
Distribution MethodVia bundling, social media hotlinks, redirects from other unwanted apps.
Detection toolDownload Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected By Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker

istartsurf-webpageIstartsurf.com browser hijacker is a suspicious search engine, developed by Greensky Technology Co. that is heavily ad-supported. Its presence on your computer is most likely due to a potentially hazardous browser hijacker, located in it. The suspicious search engine also uses several types of cookies in order to track users’ personal information and share it to external clients. It also administers sponsored advertisements in the form of banners, pop-ups supported search results, etc. This is particularly dangerous software, because it sets the website istartsurf.com as your home page and security researchers strongly recommend that you wipe its data clean off your machine.

Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker – How Did I Get It?

One way you may have received this potentially unwanted program is in similar way like other hijackers, such as mystartsearch.com, for example – bundling. This particular method includes such unwanted applications as free ‘extras’ to legitimate freeware programs the masses download daily.

istartsurf-bundling

There are also other ways to get affected by this annoying application. You may have been redirected to a web link that could’ve added this as an extension to your browser. Most users get such extensions as plugins to watch a video on youtube. This may happen if you click on a fraudulent facebook, twitter or linkedin posts.

More About Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker

Once activated on your computer, Istartsurf hijacker may use tracking cookies to collect different user information. In their privacy policy, they clearly state what type of user information they collect and what they do with it:

privacy-policy

As visible, the company associated with istartsurf.com is considered to collect personal information and share it with external parties. In addition to this, the suspicious search engine does not have HTTPS encryption – something that is very important for search engines to have, especially when it comes to search results. But do not worry, because, after all Istartsurf is not a real search engine. In fact, it uses Google redirects to display its results.

not-encrypted

cookies

Also, besides having several ad spaces, one of which was a fake windows error, transferring us to to a download page of software(see the picture below), called Reimage Software Repair – a program considered by security researches to scare out the users, displaying exaggerated error messages with the sole purpose of scaring them to pay for a licensed version of it.

istartsurf-redirect

More to it than that, we have discovered a lot of different external websites that were connected with this search engine. Being combined with a hijacker, there is a big possibility that, besides slowing down your PC, it also may make it unstable and prone to crashes. The biggest danger however is if you experience browser redirect to malicious site. Malicious sites are classified as such by experts if they do one of these activities to the user or the affected PC:

  • -Ask for personal or financial information from the user as a part of a fake survey or reward claiming registration form.
  • -Subscribe users to fraudulent tech support services that may drain money from his SIM card account. Such domains are mstechsupport.info, instantprivacyprotecton.info, myscanandprotect.net, safetyscan.info, informationdefense.info , privacyguard.co, safetyscan.co, all of which link to the same tech support number.
  • -Infect the PC with malware or crash his browser. A good example for this can be the web link that contains 16 digit code which crashes Google Chrome.

Along with the expanding of the internet of things, cyber criminals have also evolved, modifying malware to extort users by encrypting their files or stealing their information massively via different adware campaigns. This is why security engineers always advise users to be constantly updated with the latest in malware infections and cyber threats.

Removing Istartsurf.com and Protecting Yourself

In case you have had enough of this annoying app, make sure you act swiftly towards its removal. In order to be rid of it manually for free, make sure you follow the step-by-step removal instructions, provided below. And since you may have already experienced redirects to third-party websites, security experts strongly advise to download a special anti-malware program that will take care of any modified settings in your Windows Registry this hijacker may have done as well as any services running actively. Such software will also provide advanced protection against any future threats penetrating your PC’s defences.

Step 1: Remove/Uninstall Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker in Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

  • Hold the Windows Logo Button and “R” on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear (fig.1).
  • uninstall-virus-fig1

  • In the field type in “appwiz.cpl” and press ENTER (fig.2).
  • uninstall-virus-fig2

  • This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC.
    Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
  • uninstall-virus-fig3

    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker.

    Step 2: Remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker from your browser

    Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari
    Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

    uninstall-fig4

    Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

    uninstall-fig5

    Select Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker and click “Remove

    uninstall-fig6

    After Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

    uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker will be removed.

    In order to remove any associated objects that are left after uninstall and detect any other threats, you should:

    Step 3: Start Your PC in Safe Mode to Remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker.

    Removing Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker from Windows XP, Vista, 7 systems:

    1. Remove all CDs and DVDs, and then Restart your PC from the “Start” menu.
    2. Select one of the two options provided below:

    For PCs with a single operating system: Press “F8” repeatedly after the first boot screen shows up during the restart of your computer. In case the Windows logo appears on the screen, you have to repeat the same task again.

    For PCs with multiple operating systems: Тhe arrow keys will help you select the operating system you prefer to start in Safe Mode. Press “F8” just as described for a single operating system.

    3. As the “Advanced Boot Options” screen appears, select the Safe Mode option you want using the arrow keys. As you make your selection, press “Enter“.
    4. Log on to your computer using your administrator account

    While your computer is in Safe Mode, the words “Safe Mode” will appear in all four corners of your screen.

    Removing Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker from Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 systems:

    Substep 1:

    Open the Start Menu
    Windows-10-0 (1)

    Substep 2:

    Whilst holding down Shift button, click on Power and then click on Restart.

    Substep 3:

    After reboot, the aftermentioned menu will appear. From there you should choose Troubleshoot.
    Windows-10-1-257x300

    Substep 4:

    You will see the Troubleshoot menu. From this menu you can choose Advanced Options.
    Windows-10-2 (1)

    Substep 5:

    After the Advanced Options menu appears, click on Startup Settings.
    Windows-10-3 (1)

    Substep 6:

    Click on Restart.
    Windows-10-5 (1)

    Substep 7:

    A menu will appear upon reboot. You should choose Safe Mode by pressing its corresponding number and the machine will restart and boot into Safe Mode so you can scan for and remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker.

    Step 4: Remove Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.

    To clean your computer you should download an updated anti-malware program on a safe PC and then install it on the affected computer in offline mode. After that you should boot into safe mode and scan your computer to remove all Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker associated objects.

    NOTE! Substantial notification about the Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker threat: Manual removal of Istartsurf.com Browser Hijacker 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.

    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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