This article will aid you to remove Search-Private.com effectively. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions at the end of the article.
Search-Private.com is the official domain of the browser hijacker Search-Private. The hijacker can change the homepage, new tab setting, search engine of your browsers and set an add-on. The add-on is also available at Google’s Chrome web store. You might be redirected. Search results display adverts and could be incorrect or misleading.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||The homepage, new tab setting, and search engine of your browsers are changed.|
|Symptoms||Your browsers will have their homepage, new tab setting and search engine modified. A browser extension can be added. You will see ads and incorrect search results.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages, Chrome Web Store|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Search-Private.com.|
Search-Private.com – Distribution Ways
You can get the related browser extension of Search-Private.com in a few ways.
Users report that they get redirects which occur from third-party installations. Once a PUP (potentially unwanted application) is installed it could push redirects, such as:
The first of those redirects leads to “https://www.searchlock.com/en/” while the second one doesn’t open and we get an official warning from Google in the Chrome browser:
The warning states the following:
Your connection is not private
Attackers might be trying to steal your information from results.searchlock3.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). Learn more
This server could not prove that it is results.searchlock3.com; its security certificate is from *.searchlock.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection.
A similar warning appears in Firefox and other browsers, but if you proceed to the page despite the warning, you will end up on a page with the URL “https://searchlock3.com/“. Entering any information there could be obtained from that SearchLock domain. To conclude, free installation setups and bundled packages could install some PUP that may redirect you to those domains. Additional components for installation are selected by default in such packages and you should deselect anything you do not want installed. Looking for a Custom or an Advanced option in a setup is a good way of preventing unneeded installations.
Above you can see that there is even an extension related to Search-Private.com. It is offered at the Chrome Web Store and is helping it spread further. Another distribution method for the hijacker is via advertisements, like banners and pop-ups or from visiting sites that are unknown. Those sites can be partnered with the hijacker’s makers. Affected browsers are: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, plus others.
Note! The extension seems to say Search Private (search-private.com) and if installed, you will see on its main page that it uses the same logos, design, and search engine as “SearchLock“. The search results go to the “results.searchlock.com” domain. And although it says at the bottom of the main page “search-private.com is not owned operated sponsored or endorsed by SearchLock” it still uses their logo and search filter. True or untrue, in either case this is bad and somebody is definitely lying here.
Search-Private.com – Detailed Information
Search-Private.com is the domain of the browser hijacker of the same name. If Search-Private addon or extension is installed on your computer, you will see certain settings changed. Your browsers will have their homepage changed, as well as the search engine and new tab setting. It claims to be useful by making your searching private, but there is no evidence that is true. Instead, all information that you type in goes through the Search-Private/SearchLock domain.
A browser extension is available for installation. One of the locations is on the Chrome Web Store. It might also end up on your PC as a result of a PUP installation that redirects to it. The extension is also named as Search-Private (although it uses the SearhLock logo) and could redirect you to misleading search results. You might see targeted ad content from the redirects. The browser extension does the following:
- Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
- Read your browsing history
Everything that you type in the Search-Private.com search engine could be filtered from it as we saw the browser warning in the above section regarding the distribution. So, if you type personal data, it may be collected by the hijacker. The search results delivered by the unwanted program can be misleading. Around the search results, there could be many adverts and links, unrelated to specific searches. This can be seen in the image here:
Browser redirects can come from the new tab setting, the homepage, or from advertisements. Pop-ups, pop-unders, banners or even in-text links might show as part of the adverts content. Sometimes, the user experience is different and close to the one received from popular search engines in terms of results. The redirects may have the goal to generate more traffic to domains which get money by pay-per-click, but that is not proven.
The information that is clearly stated to be collected is the following:
- Web browser (type and version)
- Operating system
- Numerical count of daily searches, ad and result clicks
- Search terms
- Date you installed Search-Private
- Where you heard about Search-Private (example: Facebook)
If the hijacker makers know if you heard about their application through Facebook or other social media, they may know from which social account you ended up on their site. Tying your social media account will make any information you have on that account gathered by the hijacker as well. Also, below you can see that the domain loads 13 cookies on your computer and can store them for up to 2 years:
Remove Search-Private.com Redirect
To remove Search-Private.com manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. If the manual removal does not get rid of this hijacker completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware program. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.
What Is Search-Private.com?
The Search-Private.com 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 Search-Private.com?
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 Search-Private.com?
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 Search-Private.com Work?
Once installed, Search-Private.com 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.
Search-Private.com 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 Search-Private.com 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 Search-Private.com Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Search-Private.com 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 Search-Private.com?
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 Search-Private.com threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.