Remove DuckDuckGo Virus (Chrome/Edge/Firefox) | Updated

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I wrote this article to help you remove DuckDuckGo Virus. This DuckDuckGo Virus removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

DuckDuckGo is an application named after the company which created it. The tool provides search engine optimization services. It promises to improve the browsing results by finding the best matches to the entered queries. DuckDuckGo currently generates an impressive traffic of 15 million a month. A distinct advantage of the program which may be detrimental for its success is the high level of privacy protection. It is stated that the app does not track the browsing sessions and does not collect personally identifiable information (PII). Despite this, the privacy policy states that third party websites may use DuckDuckGo to gather information on the end user. This contradicts the principal statement.

DuckDuckGo has an official website, registered to the domain duckduckgo.com. The tool is available as a browser extension. You can find a download link on the homepage. Additionally, the extension is available in the Chrome Web Store. When you decide to have it installed, you will be shown a brief breakdown of the end user license agreement (EULA). As per disclosure, DuckDuckGo can read and change the user’s data on its official website and all associated websites. The tool can also change the search settings to duckduckgo.com. Because of this capability, security experts have categorized the extension as a browser hijacker.

If you did not acquire DuckDuckGo on your own account, you may be wondering how it got installed to your computer. The answer to this mystery is that is was installed together with another program. The shady tool often hitches a ride with freeware and shareware. They include it as a bonus in their terms and conditions. If you skip through the installation steps in haste, you will unknowingly permit the secluded program into your computer. We advise you to be selective of the software you add to your system, as well as your online sources. Do your research on unfamiliar programs and only trust licensed vendors.

When DuckDuckGo gets installed to your web browser, it will change your homepage and default search provider to start.duckduckgo.com. You will be unable to revert back to your preferred settings while the intrusive program is active on your system. The hijacker may not track users’ sessions and collect information on them, but it assists third party websites in doing so. The domains you visit will have access to your browsing and purchase history. They can take advantage of the knowledge they obtain on you and bring targeted ads your way. A lot of platforms display advertisements. Supporting third party content is a common online service. It is rewarded with a certain payment. The developers of DuckDuckGo have disclosed that they receive commissions for collaborating with other websites.

The advertisements you will be shown can appear in different formats. This encompasses banners, coupon boxes, in-text links, freebies, contextual, interstitial, transitional, floating, inline, comparison, and other types of ads. Some of them will be embedded into the websites which produce them, while others will be displayed into new windows and tabs. The offers you will receive will be associated to your recent searches and your online purchases. If you have recently added items to your personal wardrobe, you will be targeted with bargain deals for clothes and accessories. If you have purchased household appliances and consumer electronics, the ads will accent on technological devices. All this will be done with the help of DuckDuckGo.

Some of the websites which display ads are reliable. They link to their own content or mediate the content of reputable online vendors. Others, however, are not trustworthy. They link to infected web domains. There is also the question of what kinds of data DuckDuckGo will allow to be gathered on you. Certain websites may record sensitive personal input, like your IP address, geographic location, area code, email, telephone number, fax, residency, user names, passwords, and financial details. By obtaining relevant data, hackers will be able to break into your online accounts and steal from them.

DuckDuckGo Virus Removal

STEP-1 Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you are familiar with this task, skip the instructions below and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, here is how to reboot in Safe mode:

For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7:
Reboot your computer. When the first screen of information appears, start repeatedly pressing F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode With Networking from the options.
Safe Mode with Networking
For Windows 8/8.1
Click the Start button, next click Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.‌
Windows 8 Safe Mode with Network
Check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart when asked.
For Windows 10
Open the Start menu and click or tap on the Power button.
win10 safemode 1
While keeping the Shift key pressed, click or tap on Restart.
win10 safemode 2

STEP-2Here are the steps you must follow to permanently remove from the browser:

Remove From Mozilla Firefox:

Open Firefox, click on top-right corner , click Add-ons, hit Extensions next.
firefox extensions
Look for suspicious or unknown extensions, remove them all.

Remove From Chrome:

Open Chrome, click chrome menu icon at the top-right corner —>More Tools —> Extensions. There, identify the malware and select chrome-trash-icon(Remove).
chrome extensions

Remove From Internet Explorer:
Open IE, then click IE gear icon on the top-right corner —> Manage Add-ons.
ie gear
Find the malicious add-on. Remove it by pressing Disable.

STEP-3

Right click on the browser’s shortcut, then click Properties. Remove everything after the .exe” in the Target box.

ff shortcut

STEP-4

Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.

appwiz

Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.

STEP-5

Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.

task manager

Look carefully at the file names and descriptions of the running processes. If you find any suspicious one, search on Google for its name, or contact me directly to identify it. If you find a malware process, right-click on it and choose End task.

STEP-6

Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.

msconfig

Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

Still can not remove DuckDuckGo Virus from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.

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Daniel Stoyanov
Daniel Stoyanov has a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional. Daniel provides top cyber security news with in-depth coverage of malware, vulnerabilities, PC and Network security, online safety.If you have any questions feel free to ask him right now.

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