One of the most talked-about topics discussed online nowadays is browser hijacking. Perhaps it has become popular because many computer users wish to know how to get protected against malicious intruders on the web.
But what is browser hijacking in the first place?
Browser hijacking happens when an unwanted software entity on the web alters the activities of the web browser. Since web browsers serve as a user’s window to the internet, a lot of unwanted things could happen when browser hijackers attack.
A notorious browser that we will be talking about here is the MySearch virus.
About the MySearch Virus
The MySearch virus is classified as a potentially unwanted program and a browser hijacker. Although it was developed and introduced in 2014, this malicious entity is still prevalent nowadays. Google has once introduced it as a powerful search engine, but it’s far behind this major search engine.
What Can the MySearch Virus Do?
The MySearch virus is designed to redirect visitors to the developer’s partner websites with the aim to generate pay-per-click revenue. It does its malicious acts by using a hijacked browser homepage, which is often set to www.my-search.com. Once redirected to this homepage, the victim’s computer is filled with banners, ads, and sponsored links to third-party websites.
Aside from that, the MySearch virus can attack other web browsers on the system, regardless of whether the victim is actively using it or not. So, if you notice that your homepage has been set to my-search.com, take action immediately.
While it’s not the most dangerous threat that is present on the web these days, you should not underestimate what it can do. The effects of the hijacker often show at random, so you can never really be too confident.
Once the MySearch virus has successfully infiltrated your system, you could notice that your browser slows down or freezes. You could even experience more troublesome signs.
This malicious entity could also redirect you to more dangerous websites that could put your online privacy and personal data at risk. These sites include the following:
- Phishing sites
- Tech-support scams
- Gambling sites
- Fake online survey sites
- Pornographic sites
- Sources of rogue software bundles
How is the MySearch Virus Spread?
There are many techniques used to spread the MySearch virus. This includes simple banner pop-ups to promotional content being pushed on apps and search engines like MySearch-app.xyz.
The MySearch-app.xyz is a redirect site of the MySearch engine virus. Its main purpose is again to redirect traffic and gain pay-per-click revenue. Once your computer is infected, it affects your browsing experience, manipulating your browser’s settings and changing your browsing preferences.
Now, why are these changes necessary? They are simply needed for traffic control. This is why we strongly recommend to download a trusted antivirus software program and run a complete virus scan to get rid of this virus entirely.
Other Variants of the MySearch Virus
Aside from the MySearch-app.xyz app, this MySearch virus has plenty of other variants. It’s not surprising why it’s being referred to as a virus.
Here are other versions of this threat that may affect your device:
www-mysearch.com is a MySearch virus variant that imitates the Bing search engine. It allows users to modify the browser’s background to make it visually pleasing. It also redirects search results to Bing.
However, just because the search results are redirected to a known search engine does not mean that users are safe. The developers of the virus usually create an added layer of sponsored links that push victims to visit unsafe websites.
Another browser hijacker that often comes bundled with freeware, the My-search virus also gets installed with the users knowing. Once it is installed, the homepage of the browser is set to hxxps://www.my-search.com/?.
What’s dangerous about this malware entity is that it openly states that the personal information that is gathered can be used in many ways. So, if you value your privacy, you should uninstall this virus right away.
This is one of the most popular virus variants of MySearch.com. While it is an obvious browser hijacker, it fools victims into believing that it is “Enhanced by Google” by using the search giant’s name in the homepage.
Once this virus gets into your system, it immediately makes changes to your browsers, redirecting you to suspicious websites, adding unnecessary bookmarks, installing browser add-ons, and displaying unwanted sponsored links.
Hp.mysearch.com is classified as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) that changes the homepage settings of browsers to hxxp://hp.mysearch.com. With this PUP installed, users are forced to browse the web via a hijacked search engine.
This malicious entity also ensures that all the displayed search results are fake. More often than not, the top results redirect you to dangerous or sponsored websites.
How to Remove MySearch Virus
Removing the MySearch virus should not be difficult. In fact, it can be easily uninstalled from your system just like any other ordinary applications. But it may have several components spread all throughout the system, hence the need for more detailed MySearch virus removal instructions.
If you ask experts, it is best to use a reliable antivirus software program to get rid of the MySearch virus. Simply download one and run a quick scan and your PC should be alright. Just make sure that you keep it updated so as not to allow other variants to wreak havoc on your system.
So, how do you remove the MySearch virus? Follow the steps below:
- Go to Start and select Control Panel.
- Select Programs and Features.
- Click Uninstall a Program.
- Look for the MySearch program and other related programs. Uninstall them and hit OK to save the changes.
- Next, right-click on your browser’s shortcut.
- Select Properties.
- Navigate to the Shortcut tab and check the Target section.
- Delete any malicious URL that might be associated with the virus.
- Restart your PC.
If you suspect that the MySearch virus has infiltrated your PC, remove it as soon as possible. Perpetrators and cybercriminals would do anything to get hold of your personal information or make money from it. Don’t give them a chance.
Here are some safety tips worth considering:
- If you need to surf the web, use a reputable VPN service. This will allow you to enjoy the web without the fear of being hacked.
- Keep your applications and operating system up to date.
- Always back up your files so, in the event of a malware attack, you can easily revert your changes.