This article aims to help you with the removal of Safesearchmac.com hijacker from affected browser and system. Follow the detailed guide at the end to attempt to get rid of this annoying website in full.
Safesearchmac.com is a browser hijacker that is reported to affect Mac devices. It could land on the system without users’ knowledge which is one of the main reasons why it is considered to be a potentially unwanted program. Once running on the device it could affect the settings of commonly used web browsers and start pushing its deceptive search engine. Furthermore, its associated files are designed to obtain certain data from affected browsers and send it to a connected server.
|Type||Browser extension for Mac OS|
|Short Description||A deceptive search engine that replaces preferred browser homepage, new tab page and searching service without asking for your explicit permission.|
|Symptoms||Basic browser settings are hijacked and set to open the homepage of the hijacker. An increased number of ads appear during browsing sessions and cause significant slowdowns.|
|Distribution Methods||Software Bundles, Freeware Installers, Corrupted Web Pages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Safesearchmac.com.|
Safesearchmac.com – How Did I Get It
Safesearchmac.com hijacker is a potentially unwanted program that lands on your Mac without knowledge. Programs of this kind are often distributed with the help of deceptive techniques that trick you into installing something you don’t need “by your will”. Among the most common spread techniques are software bundles and corrupted installers.
This could be explained by the fact that both methods enable developers of PUPs like Safesearchmac.com to conceal the presence of their installation code and this way lure users into installing it along with a desired freeware. Happily, there is an option to avoid the installation of undesired extras and it is usually hidden in the Advanced/Custom configuration option. It is presented in most of the installers of free third-party apps.
As part of the distribution channels of this hijacker is its official website. It provides a download option as could be seen below:
However, here you need to initiate a download of Safesearchmac.com which we believe almost nobody will do consciously.
Frequently used web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari could be affected by Safesearchmac.com hijacker.
Safesearchmac.com – More Information
Safesearchmac.com is a bogus website that provides questionable searching services. It is considered to be a potentially unwanted program further defined as a browser hijacker due to its capabilities of modifying basic browser settings without asking you for permission.
So once its files are started on your Mac they access the settings of installed browsers and change some of the values there. It is most likely that your preferred web browser will be set to display the hoax search engine of Safesearchmac.com hijacker on the homepage and each new tab page. Additionally, your default search engine is also likely to be replaced by the one pushed by the hijacker.
Other issues that may occur after this hijacker gains access to your device are aggressive advertising and data collection. These two are known to go hand in hand as certain data collected from affected browsers is often used for the optimization of advertising campaigns. The details that are clearly stated to be obtained by the company owner are:
- IP address
- Search terms
- Search queries
- URL of websites visited while the extension is active
- Your browser type
- Your computer type
- Time of day
- Default language setting
- Unique identifier number
- A code identifying you as a user of the Extension
- Country code
- Operating system information
- Your computer type
- The content of any cookies that your browser previously accepted from the website
- Usage patterns
- Number of clicks on the website
- Session duration
- Referrer URL
In case that you need to contact them which is better to avoid they could further ask you to submit personal information including your full name, email address, telephone number, and other identifying information.
If you want to get rid of Safesearchmac.com and prevent its appearance during browsing sessions keep reading what follows.
Remove Safesearchmac.com Hijacker from Mac
In order to remove the annoying Safesearchmac.com hijacker along with all its associated files from your Mac you should complete all steps listed in the removal guide that follows. It presents both manual and automatic removal instructions that combined will help you to remove this undesired program in full.
In case that you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.
About the Safesearchmac.com Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Safesearchmac.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 macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on Safesearchmac.com?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the Safesearchmac.com threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall Safesearchmac.com and remove related files and objects
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 Safesearchmac.com:
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 Safesearchmac.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 Safesearchmac.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 Safesearchmac.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:
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 Safesearchmac.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:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove Safesearchmac.com – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Safesearchmac.com files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Safesearchmac.com, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
What is Safesearchmac.com on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac 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 MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of Safesearchmac.com on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #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 Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like Safesearchmac.com?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Safesearchmac.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 e-mail 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 activiites 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 reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.