Remove SimilarSites(.)com Browser Hijacker - How to, Technology and PC Security Forum | SensorsTechForum.com

Remove SimilarSites(.)com Browser Hijacker

STF-similarsites-com-similar-sites-youtube-search-ads-sponsored-content

SimilarSites(.)com is the search page of a browser hijacker. The hijacker acts as a useful site to show you websites similar to the ones you search. Instead, it shows targeted ads and sponsored content and sites, which are not similar to your searches. SimilarSites(.)com can change the homepage, new tab, and the search engine your browsers. A browser extension exists that can be added to browsers, too. To remove the hijacker and its components, you should read the article to the end.

Threat Summary

NameSimilarSites(.)com
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionBrowser software on your computer could be affected. The hijacker can redirect you and show you advertisements.
SymptomsBrowser settings which can be changed are the homepage, search engine and new tab. An extension could be set as well. You could see sponsored content.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by SimilarSites(.)com

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss SimilarSites(.)com.

SimilarSites(.)com – Ways of Distribution

SimilarSites(.)com has a few ways in which it distributes. Third-party install setups are one of the primary ways that the unwanted program uses for distribution. Bundled programs and freeware can put the hijacker inside your computer. The freeware installers could have more components set to be installed, by default. Lots of settings could already be altered before you become aware of them and the hijacker’s existence. To prevent installations of unwanted software like that, can be achieved if you find Custom or Advanced settings, so to deselect components.

STF-similarsites-com-similar-sites-add-on-extension-chrome-pop-up-ads

SimilarSites(.)com might use other ways of distribution to appear in your browser applications. One of the ways is with the help of a browser extension shown in the picture above. Here, it’s in the form of a pop-up ad, but it might be in Google’s Chrome Web store. Another way is through adverts, such as banners and pop-ups. The hijacker could be spread with redirects and targeted content hosted on suspicious sites. Such websites could be affiliated somehow with SimilarSites(.)com. The following browsers could be affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

SimilarSites(.)com – In Detail

SimilarSites(.)com is the main page for a browser hijacker. You can view how the web page looks like in the picture shown right here:

STF-similarsites-com-similar-sites-main-site-page

The SimilarSites(.)com main website page consists of a search bar to search for supposedly related sites. Also, it is filled with numerous links to other sites and possible advertising content. The extension related to the website can replace the search engine, new tab, and home page of your browsers and show different data on pages you visit. The said browser extension does the following:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit

You can see below, in the screenshot, how the search results page of SimilarSites(.)com looks. You will see advertisements and targeted content and websites which are not exactly similar to the ones you seek. Probably the algorithm is strange and not updated, and that’s why the sites are not so similar in actuality.

STF-similarsites-com-similar-sites-youtube-search-ads-sponsored-content

After you click on a website suggested by SimilarSites(.)com the URL might be modified and show the hijacker’s name in it. That is because the unwanted software collects various types of information from its users. Cookies and other tracking technologies are used as well for further data gathering. Be careful with the information you input in searches and on what you click, because it might be disclosed to third parties. Continue to read, and find out what data can be acquired from you by SimilarSites(.)com.

SimilarSites(.)com – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of the SimilarSites(.)com can be found on the site of the same name. There you can find details about what kind of information is collected, in what ways and to whom it may be disclosed. If you read the policy, you will find out that both personally and non-personally identifying information is obtained.

You can see the Privacy Policy in the image below:

STF-similarsites-com-similar-sites-privacy-policy

Read the excerpt that follows quoting the Policy, about third-party advertising to gain a better idea about it:

We may use third-party advertising companies in order to serve advertisements on our Website. Such parties may use cookies and/or other technologies placed on users’ computer in order to adjust the advertisements presented on to them on a certain third parties’ website.

Referring to the policy, the following information can be collected:

  • Personal information you yourself submit
    (when you commence communications with the developers)
  • Advertisements viewed
  • Pages browsed
  • Search inquiries
  • Offers and services that interest you
  • The type of browser you are using
  • Your IP address
  • The URL you have come from
  • Time spent at that URL
  • Information from cookies
  • Your domain type and server

According to the Policy, by using any software or services connected to SimilarSites(.)com you automatically grant your consent for the collection of information from you and your PC. Cookies, web beacons, pixels and other technologies are used in the data collection process as well. All of your personal information may be shared with subsidiaries or joint ventures of the owners of this hijacker and in the case that it is required by a court order.

Remove SimilarSites(.)com Completely from Your PC

To remove SimilarSites(.)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 its files effectively, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer secure in the future.

Manually delete SimilarSites(.)com from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the SimilarSites(.)com threat: Manual removal of SimilarSites(.)com 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.

1. Remove or Uninstall SimilarSites(.)com in Windows
2. Remove SimilarSites(.)com from Your Browser
3. Fix registry entries created by SimilarSites(.)com on your PC

Automatically remove SimilarSites(.)com by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove SimilarSites(.)com with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to SimilarSites(.)com in the future
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

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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