What is MaskSearch.com?
Your homepage on Google Chrome could be replaced with MaskSearch.com if you install a suspicious add-on by the name “Mask Search.” Although this add-on is mentioned via the Uninstall instructions that are introduced to the users of the suspicious search tool directly from its home page, we could not find an official installer. Unfortunately, this suggests that this add-on – along with the hijacker – might be spread by unreliable software distributors. The biggest issue here is that these distributors could spread the search tool packaged with malware, and you might not even realize that. A software bundle is usually supported by one attractive program. When you try to install it, the distributor might offer you a bunch of other supposedly attractive tools, including system optimizers, coupon finders, etc. If you install software without doing any research, you might let in malware that you will need to remove. Please scan your operating system with a trusted malware scanner immediately to check if you need to delete MaskSearch.com along with other infections.
How does MaskSearch.com work?
Our Anti-Spyware-101.com malware analysts recommend removing MaskSearch.com because it is considered to be a browser hijacker. Yes, its interface does not look very suspicious, as there is only a search dialog box. However, this hijacker might have been installed without your permission, and, even if you installed it yourself, it might work in an extremely unpredictable manner. As you might have noticed already, a lot of advertisements – the links in the “Ads” list – are introduced to you when you browse the web. Is this normal? Can you trust these results? While seeing ads along with search results is not a new thing, there are a lot of them, and this is a red flag. Also, the representation of third-party ads is not discussed in detail via the legal statements that support MaskSearch.com, and that is what should make you wary of the ads shown. What if these ads are misleading and are meant to redirect you to malicious websites? Is this the kind of a risk you would be willing to pay for the services provided to you by the hijacker? We are sure that it is not.
There is not a lot of information about FreshTab Technologies (the developer) either, and that is another reason to be very cautious about MaskSearch.com. If you are not familiar with the company or its intentions, how can you trust it? Of course, the company has nothing to do with third-party malware that enters your operating system if you trust a malicious third-party software distributor, but it is responsible for showcasing suspicious ads, and that is something to beware of. This is the perfect time to remind that you need to do your research whenever you decide to install an unfamiliar extension or application. Although all programs and extensions usually look good “on paper,” a little bit of research can reveal shocking things. If you do not think you can make the distinction between reliable and unreliable software yourself, install trusted anti-malware software that will warn you against installing malicious threats whenever you face them.
How to delete MaskSearch.com
At the time of research, MaskSearch.com was only compatible with Google Chrome; however, if you notice that this threat is invading other browsers, please let us know via the comments section below, and we will add appropriate instructions. For now, the guide below should be enough to remove MaskSearch.com from your Google Chrome browser. If that does not work, modify the URL representing your homepage. Once you complete the task, quickly scan your PC with a legitimate malware scanner one more time to check if you need to erase any leftover components or other threats. Make sure you do not leave any threats hanging because they could do more damage than you can imagine. If all fails, install automated malware detection and removal software to clean your operating system. In either case, further system’s protection is crucial, and you can kill two birds with one stone by employing anti-malware software that can simultaneously erase threats and keep the PC protected.
- Launch Chrome and tap keys Alt+F.
- Move the cursor over to More tools and then click Extensions.
- Click the recycle bin button next to the MaskSearch add-on.
- Select Remove to get rid of it.
- In the menu on the left click Settings.
- Go to On Startup and choose Open a specific page or set of pages.
- Click Set pages and then change the URL representing the hijacker.
- Click OK and then restart your Chrome browser.
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