Searchprivacy.co is listed as hijacker. To be more specific – it will hijack your search settings. Homepage or new tab page settings won’t be affected, so you don’t really have to worry about that. However, it is still irritating because regardless of where you submit your search (search bar or Google, Yahoo search engine), it will be stolen by Searchprivacy.co and the results will be displayed on their custom page.
This virus might also be referred to as PrivacySearch.link because it is the actual name of the add-on that makes changes on Google Chrome web browser:
Also. privacysearch.link is the same website that promotes this tool and provides presentation of it. Since it is operating as browser add-on, it is only compatible with Google Chrome web browser – users of other web browsers are not vulnerable to this particular hijacker.
Hijacking search results
Usually browser hijackers make changes to web browsers’ settings and change home page or new tab pages. In this case Searchprivacy.co infection is operating using other methods – they only hijack your search. So if you have this add-on installed on your computer and head, for instance, to Google or other well-known and legitimate search provider, you will notice that search box features a small icon of searchprivacy. That means your search will be executed by it, instead of an actual search engine you chose to do it:
This is the absolutely worst feature of this tool. Besides it, we could evaluate it as semi legitimate tool, only because it is being distributed as a bundle to other free software that can be downloaded from the Internet and gets installed on the computers behind the lack of information provided to the users about what’s going to happen. However, since it is hijacking all of your searches, it is obviously malicious.
If Searchprivacy.co is operating on your Google Chrome web browser, you will be not able to get accurate results and search the web efficiently. Even though it is described as a free tool that will allow you to search the web without absolutely no profiling and tracking, that will encrypt your data and secure it this way, it is obviously not true. First of all, it uses custom search engine that provides search results that are not really accurate. We have tried to look for our own website on this search engine and this is what we got:
As you can see, there are a bunch of sponsored results ahead of the actual result that you are looking for. Usually ads on search pages are OK, but most of the time they are relevant to what you are searching for and can enhance your searching experience. In this case, you have 3 sponsored results that are completely not relevant to what you are looking for. So the business model of Searchprivacy.co is clear – they infect computers and hijack their searches and then simply displays not relevant links to the websites they are affiliated with. Also, those websites featured on this search results page can be unreliable and you are taking a risk by paying a visit to any of them.
How to solve Searchprivacy.co hijacker problem?
You can think that removing browser hijacker is relatively easy. Since it is operating as browser add-on, you only have to disable that particular extension. Unfortunately, things are not that easy – this would work with legitimate add-on, but not with malware. First thing you should do is to click on the Searchprivacy.co icon on the toolbar and select “Remove from Chrome” option. This will let you to use your own web search once again. However, that does not mean that all malicious files related to this infection are removed from your computer. For that job you will have to scan it with a decent anti-malware tool, such as Spyhunter. Either one of them will definitely detect and remove the virus from your computer.
Also, to restore all default settings of Google Chrome web browser, please follow instructions provided below.
TopHow To remove Searchprivacy.co hijacker from Google Chrome:
- Click on the 3 horizontal lines icon on a browser toolbar and Select More Tools→Extensions
- Select all malicious extensions and delete them.
- Click on the 3 horizontal lines icon on a browser toolbar and Select Settings
- Select Manage Search engines
- Remove unnecessary search engines from the list
- Go back to settings. On Startup choose Open blank page (you can remove undesired pages from the set pages link too).
- If your homepage was changed, click on Chrome menu on the top right corner, select Settings. Select Open a specific page or set of pages and click on Set pages.
- Delete malicious search websites at a new Startup pages window by clicking “X” next to them.
(Optional) Reset your browser’s settings
If you are still experiencing any issues related to Searchprivacy.co hijacker, reset the settings of your browser to its default settings.
- Click on a Chrome’s menu button (three horizontal lines) and select Settings.
- Scroll to the end of the page and click on theReset browser settings button.
- Click on the Reset button on the confirmation box.
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