THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Search-Private.com Redirect

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.

Threat Summary

Name Search-Private.com
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
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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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:

  • results.searchlock.com
  • results.searchlock3.com

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
NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
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.

Search-Private.com – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of Search-Private.com is located on “https://www.searchlock.com/en/pages/privacy“. From the Privacy Policy of Search-Private.com is understood that the related browser hijacker performs information collection. There are a few pages about the privacy and privacy features on the site, but the Policy page is shown below:

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:

Search terms could be collected, using the services and site of Search-Private. The website and related browser applications do obtain data from you, as well as its advertising partners do, and to top it all off SearchLock (Search-Private) uses cookies. You are told that the application doesn’t do that, but they have lied that they are not tied to Search Lock, so you should consider removing this unwanted application and search engine.

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.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Search-Private.com from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Search-Private.com

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Search-Private.com and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 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 are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors 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:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Search-Private.com on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Search-Private.com there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Search-Private.com with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Search-Private.com from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Search-Private.com and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Search-Private.com:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Search-Private.com. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Search-Private.com. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Search-Private.com 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Search-Private.com. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Search-Private.com from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Search-Private.com from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Search-Private.com from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Search-Private.com from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Search-Private.com will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Search-Private.com from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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