Searchme(.)com is the search engine of a browser hijacker. The hijacker redirects you to a Yahoo’s search results page or that of another famous search engine. Searchme(.)com can modify the homepage, new tab and the search engine of all browser you have. A browser extension could be installed, as well. To remove the hijacker and all of its files, you should read the article through.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Every browser on your computer might be affected. The hijacker could redirect you and filter your searches.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which can be modified are the homepage, search engine and new tab. An extension could be added as well. You might see sponsored content and advertisements.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Searchme(.)com |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Searchme(.)com.|
Searchme(.)com – Distribution Ways
Searchme(.)com has a few distribution ways. Third-party installers are the main way for the unwanted program to install to your computer. Bundle software and freeware programs can inject the hijacker in your computer. The freeware setups might have extra components set for installation, by default. Various settings can be changed on your computer and browser before you realize. Avoiding such installations can be done if you find Custom or Advanced menu with settings to deselect components in the installation setup.
Searchme(.)com could use other ways to make its search engine to appear in your browsers. One of these ways is through the site shown in the picture above – searchassistant(.)co. Another is via adverts, like banners or pop-ups. The hijacker could be distributed with redirects hosted on suspicious websites. Such websites could be in an affiliate program with Searchme(.)com. The following browsers could be affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.
Searchme(.)com – A Closer Inspection
Searchme(.)com is the search engine and the main page for a browser hijacker. You can take a closer look on how the web page looks like in the screenshot below:
The Searchme(.)com domain is composed of a simple picture with a logo and a search bar. That is what the extension and all related programs put as your default go-to page replacing the search engine, new tab, and home page of your browsers. Your browser preferences could be changed, as well. The extension could be found on the searchassistant(.)co page for direct installation or from the Chrome Web Store. It performs the following:
- Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
- Change your search settings to: searchme(.)com
- Manage your apps, extensions, and themes
If any programs related to Searchme(.)com are inside your computer or browser apps, then you will see noticeable changes to your browser settings. Such programs often get on your computer via bundled software. Extensions, add-ons or plug-ins including additive components, could generate advertisements and redirects when you are browsing. You could end up on sites with third party content. The developers of such sites might be tied to Searchme(.)com.
You can see above, in the image, how the search results of Searchme(.)com look. Looking closely, you will notice that you get redirected to the search results page of Yahoo. The redirect results could land you on other reputable search engines. Browser hijackers use this as a trick for getting you to trust them when you use their search.
All of the information which is gathered goes through the servers of Searchme(.)com. Not to mention that cookies and a related program could send more data to the developers of the hijacker. Be careful with whatever information you give and whatever you write in search bars, especially if it is personal. Continue reading, to see what data exactly can be obtained from you by Searchme(.)com.
According to the policy, data collected from the use of the site and services is:
- Date and time of Your visit to the Site
- Date and time of Your search
- Originating IP address
- Media access control (“MAC”) address and operating system data
- Search term(s)
Cookies placed by the hijacker and third-party affiliates can collect the following data:
- Your IP address
- Browser user agent (detects type of device and software and hardware specifications)
The following quote is very interesting, especially if it’s true:
Search results pages you visit when performing a search using our Site or Services are provided by Our search engine partners (e.g.,Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, eBay, Amazon, Namespace, etc.). These search engines can and might track a variety of data.
According to the Policy, the following data can be collected by the above-mentioned partners:
- Search term that was entered into the search box
- Originating IP address and the user’s country or OS language setting
- Sponsored listings or other advertisements that you click on
- That the search request came from the relevant Site and its associated revenue tag
- MAC address and operating system data
Using any software or services related to Searchme(.)com you automatically grant your consent for the collection of your data. In the policy, it is openly stated that cookies also play a big role in the accumulation of most of the information.
Remove Searchme(.)com Completely from Your PC
To remove Searchme(.)com manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and all of its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer safe in the future.