What is Search.friendlysocket.com?

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Search.friendlysocket.com is a hijacker that takes over your browser, and in the process, changes the default search engine settings to something else. Most people find that practice by search.friendlysocket.com to be annoying because they prefer Google over other search engines being promoted by the hijacker.

While the hijacker is not explicitly dangerous, it does serve web advertisements that distract users from the stuff they want done on the internet. These web advertisements can also reroute to sites that are infected with malware or viruses that will steal your private information.

That is why it is probably a good idea to remove the adware before it constitutes a legitimate threat to your computer and its contents.

How to Remove Search.friendlysocket.com

Removing search.friendlysocket.com is no walk in the park. The adware is extremely good at hiding at various places on your computer that even if you remove it, a version of it will soon resurface again. The hijacker is also known to download copies of itself over and over again using different names. Some of these other names are legitimate sounding and be mistaken for useful programs.

So, how do you remove the annoying hijacker from your computer? Here are some methods to try:

1. Using an Anti-malware to remove the Search.friendlysocket.com Virus

Search.friendlysocket.com can be removed with the help of an anti-malware solution although it does not fit the profile of a virus in the traditional sense. It is just an aggressive adware that targets a user’s browsers and changes their default settings to something else. But nonetheless, a powerful anti-malware solution, such as Outbyte Anti-Malware can be used to remove all versions of the adware.

The antivirus solution will also remove any other malware that might have been downloaded by clicking on any of the web advertisements that are served to you by search.friendlysocket.com

2. Using the Activity Monitor to Locate Search.friendlysocket.com

With the help of the Activity Monitor on your Mac, you can locate and subsequently remove any processes and apps that power the adware. Here is how to use the Task Manager to locate a problematic app or process:

  1. On the spotlight search field, type ‘Activity Monitor’.
  2. Open the Activity monitor app and navigate to the Processes tab.
  3. Look for any processes that are associated with the search.friendlysocket.com virus.
  4. Right-click on the process and scroll down to Open file location.
  5. Go to the file location and delete the app. Before deleting the app, stop the process first.

You can use this method to also delete any other apps that you find to be problematic.

3. Delete Malicious Files and Launcher Agents

You can delete all the files associated with the search.friendlysocket.com adware on your Mac by taking the following steps:

  1. Go to Finder > Go > Go to Folder and paste the following string ‘~/Library/LaunchAgents’.
  2. On the folder named LaunchAgents, find files with the following naming system:
    • unknown.download.plist
    • unknown.ltvbit.plist
    • unknown.update.plist

Here, the term ‘unknown’ represents any of the following file names:

Myppes, Otwexplain, InstallMac, Manroling, Genieo, Eliaho, Montageobox, Gwenrose, Inkeeper, Javeview, Jakecares, or Leperdvil

So, you are likely to encounter a file with a name such as Gwenrose.itvbit.plist or Javeview.update.plist.

  1. Drag all of the files with the suspicious names to Trash and restart your computer.

Doing that will remove all the apps and extensions that are responsible for the annoying ads on your Mac.

While search.friendlysoceket.com is usually associated with the Mac, it can also infect Windows computers. The next two methods can be used to remove the adware from your Windows device.

4. System Restore

System Restore is a Windows process that returns the computer to an earlier functioning state. In this case, to a time when it was not infected by the search.friendlysocket.com.

To use System Restore on your Windows 10 machine, take the following steps:

  1. On the Windows search box, type ‘create a restore point’.
  2. On the System Properties app, navigate to System Protection Hit System Restore.
  3. Choose a restore point from the list of the restore points on your computer.
  4. Click the Scan for affected programs button to see the programs that will no longer be available once system restore is activated.
  5. Click the Close button.
  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Click the Finish button.

By using System Restore this way, you can remove any problematic apps on your computer. Note that system restore only works if you already have a restore point created prior to any changes in your computer’s unexpected behavior.

5. Reset your Computer

Resetting your computer will delete all the files, settings and apps that are on your device, except for the apps that came with the PC. It will thus delete all the files and extensions that are associated with any virus or adware such as the search.friendlysocket.com adware.

To reset your Windows 10 computer, navigate to Windows settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC. You will encounter two options: to remove everything or to keep your files. It is best to keep your files because you might need them later.

How Did Search.friendlysocket.com Infect Your Computer?

A common question that we receive regarding the search.friendlysocket.com adware is how it infected the computer in the first place. Usually, the adware is downloaded as part of another software package from a site, such as The Pirate Bay. It is then installed unknowingly by the victim through express installation where one just clicks buttons without scrutinizing the software packages that are being installed.

That is why even after eliminating the adware with an antivirus program, it can still re-infect your computer through the pirated software. The adware is also known to be hosted in various unsecure sites. Clicking links on such sites downloads a software package that installs the virus.

So how do you prevent the adware from infecting your computer? You can take several steps to make sure that the Mac search.friendlysocket.com browser hijacker either stops infecting your computer regularly or doesn’t infect it at all.

Remove unfamiliar browser extensions

Browser extensions add functionality onto a browser. Some, such as ad blockers are very helpful, while others, such as search.friendlysocket.com, are malicious. If you have an extension on your browser that you are not familiar with, go ahead and remove it permanently. Don’t just disable it.

You need to do this for all your browsers for more effectiveness. You can also opt to return your browser’s default settings.

Stop using pirated software

Pirated software will infect your computer because malware and adware apps are often bundled together with the ‘free’ software. Installing the apps, simply downloads the adware on your computer.

Only visit sites that are secure

Unsecure sites will infect your PC with all kinds of malware. They can even be used by hackers to steal your private information. The information can then be used against you in blackmail campaigns, or for financial or identity fraud.

Install a premium anti-malware solution

Even if you are the most careful PC user, there is still the off chance that your computer could still get infected. That’s why you need to buy an anti-malware solution that will not only scan for malware but prevent an active infection from spreading.

And that’s all there is about the search.friendlysocket.com adware. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to use the comment section below.

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