What is Startsearch.org?
You probably opened this website because you have Startsearch.org on your browser and you have no idea where this domain came from. The website looks like a custom search engine, but the fact it seemingly appeared on your browser out of nowhere is enough to prove that there is something wrong with this domain. It is, indeed, true that the search engine in question is a browser hijacker. Therefore, it entered your computer with the intention to make money out of you. While it does not steal your financial information, this entire situation can seriously jeopardize your system’s security, so the sooner you remove Startsearch.org, the better.
Where does Startsearch.org come from?
We cannot point out one exact distribution source, so you have to be cautious when you browse the web because you can never know when you could get exposed to sites that help this program spread around. It is clear, however, that Startsearch.org is very popular in Spain, as most of the detections occur in that region. Therefore, we can make an assumption that file-sharing websites hosted on Spanish servers are more likely to be part of the hijacker’s distribution network. However, it is obvious that there are no borders for such applications, and Startsearch.org could reach you anywhere.
You can actually protect yourself and your computer from this infection! It is always a lot easier than you think. You just have to be attentive and careful about what programs you install on your PC, and what websites you visit. If you have to download a new program, make sure you download it from an official website. This way, the possibility of installing additional (bundled) applications will be lower. Also, when you go through freeware installation, make sure you read all the steps in the installation wizard. Although it is not extremely likely, sometimes the setup informs you about the additional apps or features that might be added to your browser. If you notice that, you can deselect them. Either way, the point is that it is impossible to avoid installing this browser hijacker, as long as you stay vigilant.
What does Startsearch.org do?
Since the program is a genuine browser hijacker, it will change your homepage on your default browser. Startsearch.org will look like it can provide you with reliable web search service, but you should be careful about trusting it. After a few search sessions, you will soon see that the hijacker does not have an original search service. It makes use of the Yahoo! Search engine, and it modifies the search results according to your web browsing history. So the links you see on your screen from this domain are not reliable.
Furthermore, the modified Yahoo! Search results will be full of commercial ads. The content of these ads will be associated with your latest browsing sessions. Say, if you have been looking for a hotel in Denver, the ads will be full of Denver hotel offers. Although this may look like a useful think, some of the ads could be embedded with corrupted links, too. Since Startsearch.org is only interested in making money from every single click you make, it does not review the content it promotes.
This presents a security loophole that can be exploited by cyber criminals. They can embed their own links that lead to malware-related sites. So if, in the worst-case scenario, you end up clicking such a link, it would not be surprising if you were to get infected with ransomware, a Trojan, or any other dangerous infection. Keeping this in mind, you need to do everything to prevent this from happening.
How do I remove Startsearch.org?
This browser hijacker is very basic, so there is no way to uninstall it through Control Panel. Our security researchers at anti-spyware-101.com suggest resetting your browser settings to default. It should do the job.
However, let us not forget that this browser hijacker travels bundled with other unwanted applications. If you think there might be more unfamiliar programs on your computer, you should scan the system with the SpyHunter free scanner to detect all the potential threats at once.
Terminate dangerous intruders with a licensed security application and then safeguard your PC against similar programs that may try to enter your system in the future.
Manual Startsearch.org Removal
- Press Alt+T and select Internet options.
- Click the Advanced tab and press Reset.
- Mark Delete personal settings and press Reset.
- Click Close.
- Press Alt+H and open Troubleshooting information.
- At the top right of the new tab, click Refresh Firefox.
- Press Refresh Firefox again and click Finish.
- Press Alt+F and open Settings.
- Scroll down to the bottom and click Show advanced settings.
- Scroll down again and click the Reset settings button.
- Press Reset to confirm.
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