How to Remove SearchDefence.com (Chrome/Edge/Firefox) | Updated

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

SearchDefence.com is an alternative search engine which promises optimal security. The website should give you good results and make your browsing sessions safer than before. This sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, if it sounds too good to you, you are right. SearchDefence.com is a risky platform. It is connected to a browser hijacker. The rogue software can take over your web browser and manipulate it. Upon entering your system, the hijacker will change your DNS settings. This will allow it to tamper with your search results and spy on you. This can all result in serious security compromises. We will explain just what can happen and what you can do against the parasite in the course of this article.

You may not have heard about the SearchDefence.com website before. This is the case with most people who get infected with the hijacker connected to this domain. Users have reported that they found their homepage and default search engine reset to SearchDefence.com at some point and they were unable to revert back to their preferred settings. This is just how hijackers work. They sneak into the system with the help of an underhanded technique and proceed to wreak havoc. The first step is to render the web browser’s settings. Afterwards, they start generating ads and spying on people’s activity.

To address the distribution process further, we will explain which techniques are involved. There are a set of propagation vectors which are collectively known as dark patterns. The SearchDefence.com hijacker uses a few of them. First off, there is the bundling method. This is the most common of them all because it it the easiest to implement and it has the highest success rate. The intended tool is merged with another program. The host is referred to as a download client. It includes the unwanted program is included in its terms and conditions as a bonus tool. The option is marked per default, so that the install would commence if the user does not change the settings. Only unlicensed tools are used for spreading malware. This includes freeware and shareware, not just pirated applications, so be careful.

Remove SearchDefence.com
The SearchDefence.com Virus

The SearchDefence.com hijacker displays pop-up advertisements, promoting bargain shopping deals for various kinds of consumer goods. Your screen will be flooded with banners, freebies, coupon boxes, interstitial, floating, contextual, inline, comparison, transitional, and video ads. The furtive tool uses pricing and marketing techniques to attract people’s attention and get interested. It promotes exclusive deals and decorates the ad windows with special effects to highlight them. The list of featured goods is quite extensive. You will be shown offers for clothes, technological devices, furniture, accessories, household items, decorations, sports gear, gardening equipment, toys, games, and many others.

As enticing as the product listing may be, you need to keep in mind that they are not confirmed to be genuine. Any given ad could redirect to a malware-infused domain. You should steer clear of them. Be advised that the hijacker has the ability to embed ads into websites. Any suspicious content should be avoided. The owners of the SearchDefence.com website have conveniently opted out of responsibility for all security-related issues. The company behind the domain is a private firm from Limassol, Cyprus called Search Defence Technologies Ltd. It has disclaimed liabilities with the explanation that it only acts as a mediator for third party content.

To conclude on the topic of the risks involved, we need to address the monitoring activity. This is perhaps the biggest threat. The SearchDefence.com hijacker observes people’s online sessions and gathers data from them. The insidious program can record your browsing history, keystrokes, email account, telephone number, user names, passwords, financial credentials, and other details you disclose through your activity. It can also access the data your browser stores per default, like your IP address, geographic location, and tracking cookies. The gathered input will be packed into catalogs and sold on the darkweb. It can fall into the hands of cyber criminals. The only way to stop the SearchDefence.com hijacker from collecting information on you is by deleting it from your system.

SearchDefence.com Uninstall

STEP-1 Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you know how to do this, 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-2Please, follow the steps precisely to remove SearchDefence.com 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 SearchDefence.com 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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