We access the internet via browsers. Meaning a browser carries just about everything concerned with our internet activities. It is a platform where we input our sacred login details, search for needed products, and watch any video for entertainment purposes. So, you can imagine what is at stake when your browser gets compromised. It’s as good as walking naked around the park. That is exactly what the ZOO toolbar does to your browser.
What Is the ZOO Toolbar?
ZOO toolbar is a browser hijacker that adds a toolbar to your browser, altering the homepage, as well as changing the default search engine. Advertised as a program that can enhance your browsing experience with awesome features and advanced security measures, this malicious program does the complete opposite when installed on your computer. Its traits are similar to viruses, which is why it is considered a potentially unwanted program (PUP) by many reliable security software programs.
This PUP has been widely spread throughout the web and a significant number of users are affected by its behavior. There is no good or improvement brought by the ZOO toolbar. Therefore, once you recognize its existence in your machine, you must act swiftly and remove the malicious program.
What Does the ZOO Toolbar Do?
ZOO toolbar has a lot of inappropriate functionalities that can do more harm to the system than you can imagine. It may not be categorized as a virus but it does possess harmful traits once it infiltrates the system.
The program is designed to make changes to the browser and install extensions and cookies without the user’s consent. This makes it possible for the PUP to track and record the user’s activity, as well as perform endless redirects to sponsored sites. Redirects are dangerous as they lead the user to sites with malicious content.
Moreover, the ZOO toolbar program can weaken the system’s defense mechanism. This allows more virus programs to infiltrate the computer and cause more harm such as financial losses due to identity theft or ransomware attacks.
How Did ZOO Toolbar Install in my Browser?
If you’re wondering how this program ended up on your system, you’re not alone. Most of the victims don’t know how they get infected by the ZOO toolbar browser hijacker. This is due to several dubious techniques used by the deceptive developers to distribute the program.
One of the most common ways used to distribute the ZOO toolbar PUP is through software bundling. This is a technique that allows developers to plant extra setup files on an advertised legit looking software. The extra setup files will then install if the user selects the Recommended or Express installation process. The user is not aware that the file has extra installation files loaded. Therefore, it becomes a puzzle to many on how the program found its way to the system.
Other distribution techniques include:
- Spam emails – If you’re quick to open any email without verifying its legitimacy, then you’re likely to end up with potentially unwanted programs and viruses in your system. The malicious payload is attached to a seemingly real email, waiting to be open so it can trigger the installation.
- Dubious ads – If your computer is already infected with some sort of adware, the pop-up ads can lead you astray and end up triggering the installation of ZOO toolbar.
- Misleading notifications – This technique is usually effective for users that do not keep their systems tidy and clean. If you don’t update your software on time, you’re likely to fall for the trick as it will notify you of an update package that needs to be downloaded and installed asap.
- Constant redirects – As already established, redirects can lead to insecure sites that can trigger the installation of ZOO toolbar.
The consequences of this browser hijacker can slow down your computer, launch processes in the background, and install more malware that can tamper with system files. Therefore, you must consider removing this program asap.
How to Get Rid of the ZOO Toolbar Browser Hijacker?
Even though the toolbar may look harmless and real, we advise against keeping this software in your system. For starters, you don’t know how it got there and whether or not it is the only malicious program installed.
We have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of the ZOO toolbar. Follow the steps precisely to achieve the best results.
Solution #1: Remove ZOO Toolbar Program from the System
Usually, browser hijackers install a program that supports their activities in the system. Therefore, it is important to first remove the program to avoid any future infiltration.
- Press the Windows key and type Control Panel in the search field before hitting the Enter key.
- Now, click the Programs and Features option.
- Go through the list of installed programs and find the ones related to the ZOO toolbar. Click to highlight suspicious ones, and then select the Uninstall button at the top.
Solution #2: Remove ZOO Toolbar from the Browser
Now that you have removed the program from the system, it should be possible to access your browser settings if you couldn’t do so before.
- Access the Google Chrome browser and click on the 3 dotted icon to reveal the drop-down menu.
- Click on Settings before selecting Search engine. Choose the option titled Manage search engines.
- Select Google as your default search engine, and then remove all other search engines related to ZOO toolbar.
- Hover to the left panel and this time select Extensions, which will open in the next tab.
- Go through the installed extensions and remove anything related to the ZOO toolbar. Also, remove any extension that you don’t use or don’t recognize.
- Go back to the Settings tab and this time select the Advanced options to expand it.
- Click the Reset and clean up option before selecting Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Confirm the action by clicking Reset settings.
- When done, restart the computer.
Solution #3: Clean your System with a Strong Anti-Malware Security Tool
At this point, there must be no visible suspicious programs in the system. However, you must download and install reliable security software to perform a full system scan. This will help detect any malicious content that might be disguised. Moreover, keeping the software running in the background at all times will provide real-time protection and silently fight off malware attacks.
ZOO toolbar is not safe and must be removed without hesitation. Keeping it in your system will only make your online browsing experience miserable and leave your system vulnerable. You must also practice safe online behavior such as avoiding insecure sites and downloading content from official websites.