protected-search.xyz is browser hijacker that will alter your browser’s settings
protected-search.xyz will make modifications to your browser’s settings, hence the categorization browser hijacker. It will set the website it is promoting as your homepage, new tabs and search engine, and then attempt to redirect you. We ought to mention that the hijacker carries out the changes without asking for explicit authorization, which is why users are usually surprised when they see it. The hijacker will instantly get on your nerves precisely because of those changes and the redirects. But they’re pretty evident infections because of what they do. Random redirects to random websites will instantly give away that something isn’t right. Nevertheless, users may not think of the behaviour as alarming and leave the hijacker installed if they are not aware of what hijackers are.
You’re redirected to those sponsored pages because it aims to make traffic and revenue. Bear in mind that you will not always be redirected to safe sites by the hijacker, so we advise being wary. It’s not impossible for you to be led to web pages hosting scams or even malicious software.
While users install hijackers themselves, they don’t necessarily do it deliberately. Hijackers may install without users’ consent because they use software bundling. In short, potentially unwanted programs like hijackers and adware are attached to freeware as additional items. The problematic thing about these items is that they’re permitted to install together with the freeware, unless users manually stop them. In most cases, users are not able to deselect them simply because they’re not aware of them. Stopping the installation of these unwanted items is not difficult as long as you know how, and it will be explained if you continue reading.
protected-search.xyz Hijacker distribution methods
Browser hijackers aren’t classified as malware so they don’t install by themselves. For them to install, users need to permit it, and they generally do it unknowingly. Hijackers install alongside free software because they come attached as an additional item. In order to even see what’s been added, users need to choose certain settings when installing freeware. Programs available on those free download pages will usually come with extra items. For users who download many free software, understanding how to prevent unnecessary installations is important.
When installing free software in the future, opt for Advanced (Custom) settings. By opting for those settings, not only will all extra offers be made visible, but you’ll also have the choice of unchecking all of them. On the other hand, Default settings will make the items invisible. Deselecting the box of the item is sufficient to prevent its installation if there is anything added.
This is applicable for all applications you are installing. It’s also recommended to review download sources and not download from ones that are known to host questionable applications. Your PC can very quickly get cluttered with junk if you do not review what gets installed. It will be much less difficult to stop the installation of unnecessary programs in the beginning, than actually trying to remove them.
Is protected-search.xyz dangerous
While it’s not very noticeable when it’s installing, the hijacker is highly noticeable once it is installed. Whichever browser you’re using (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox), the hijacker will make unwanted modifications to it. The hijacker will change your homepage and new tab to its promoted websites, which means the site will load every time you launch your browser. Not noticing such significant modifications would be unusual. Moreover, your browser will also have a different search engine. If you use the browser address bar to do a search for something, you will be redirected to an unusual site and displayed modified search results every time. You ought to also be aware that these changes are done without your permission.
Sponsored results will be be among the search results so don’t click on them randomly. These changed results are included since a hijacker’s prime purpose is to redirect users to sponsored websites for profit purposes. Those results aren’t necessarily safe and may lead you to websites that could prompt a malware download or promote scams. Generally, it is easy to separate between real results and sponsored ones, as they have little to do with what you were searching for.
Precisely because of these unwanted changes and redirects should you uninstall them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, because they seem quite harmless, users are in no rush to remove them. Occasionally, users deliberately don’t delete them. Since they can expose you to dangerous content, keeping them is a bad idea.
Hijackers and other similar threats also snoop on users, basically snooping on their internet activities. Your IP address, data on what you search for and web pages visited, etc, will be collected. Unfamiliar third-parties could gain access to this information as well.
How to remove protected-search.xyz
It would be best to use spyware removal software to remove protected-search.xyz. If you attempt to manually delete it, you may not see something, which may allow the hijacker to restore. Anti-spyware software would delete protected-search.xyz completely, meaning there would be no leftover files.
As soon as you delete the hijacker, changing your browser’s settings will not cause issues. Pay attention to how you install programs and where you download them from in the future to avoid picking up a hijacker.
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Step 1. Uninstall protected-search.xyz and related programs.
Remove protected-search.xyz from Windows 8
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel choose Programs and Features and select to Uninstall a software.
Uninstall protected-search.xyz from Windows 7
Click Start → Control Panel → Programs and Features → Uninstall a program.
Delete protected-search.xyz from Windows XP
Click Start → Settings → Control Panel. Locate and click → Add or Remove Programs.
Remove protected-search.xyz from Mac OS X
Click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Select applications folder and look for protected-search.xyz or any other suspicious software. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash, then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
Step 2. Delete protected-search.xyz from your browsers
Terminate the unwanted extensions from Internet Explorer
- Tap the Gear icon and go to Manage Add-ons.
- Pick Toolbars and Extensions and eliminate all suspicious entries (other than Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Oracle or Adobe)
- Leave the window.
Change Internet Explorer homepage if it was changed by virus:
- Tap the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of your browser and click Internet Options.
- In General Tab remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Press Apply to save changes.
Reset your browser
- Click the Gear icon and move to Internet Options.
- Open the Advanced tab and press Reset.
- Choose Delete personal settings and pick Reset one more time.
- Tap Close and leave your browser.
- If you were unable to reset your browsers, employ a reputable anti-malware and scan your entire computer with it.
Erase protected-search.xyz from Google Chrome
- Access menu (top right corner of the window) and pick Settings.
- Choose Extensions.
- Eliminate the suspicious extensions from the list by clicking the Trash bin next to them.
- If you are unsure which extensions to remove, you can disable them temporarily.
Reset Google Chrome homepage and default search engine if it was hijacker by virus
- Press on menu icon and click Settings.
- Look for the “Open a specific page” or “Set Pages” under “On start up” option and click on Set pages.
- In another window remove malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage.
- Under the Search section choose Manage Search engines. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search websites. You should leave only Google or your preferred search name.
Reset your browser
- If the browser still does not work the way you prefer, you can reset its settings.
- Open menu and navigate to Settings.
- Press Reset button at the end of the page.
- Tap Reset button one more time in the confirmation box.
- If you cannot reset the settings, purchase a legitimate anti-malware and scan your PC.
Remove protected-search.xyz from Mozilla Firefox
- In the top right corner of the screen, press menu and choose Add-ons (or tap Ctrl+Shift+A simultaneously).
- Move to Extensions and Add-ons list and uninstall all suspicious and unknown entries.
Change Mozilla Firefox homepage if it was changed by virus:
- Tap on the menu (top right corner), choose Options.
- On General tab delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
- Press OK to save these changes.
Reset your browser
- Open the menu and tap Help button.
- Select Troubleshooting Information.
- Press Refresh Firefox.
- In the confirmation box, click Refresh Firefox once more.
- If you are unable to reset Mozilla Firefox, scan your entire computer with a trustworthy anti-malware.
Uninstall protected-search.xyz from Safari (Mac OS X)
- Access the menu.
- Pick Preferences.
- Go to the Extensions Tab.
- Tap the Uninstall button next to the undesirable protected-search.xyz and get rid of all the other unknown entries as well. If you are unsure whether the extension is reliable or not, simply uncheck the Enable box in order to disable it temporarily.
- Restart Safari.
Reset your browser
- Tap the menu icon and choose Reset Safari.
- Pick the options which you want to reset (often all of them are preselected) and press Reset.
- If you cannot reset the browser, scan your whole PC with an authentic malware removal software.
2-remove-virus.com is not sponsored, owned, affiliated, or linked to malware developers or distributors that are referenced in this article. The article does not promote or endorse any type of malware. We aim at providing useful information that will help computer users to detect and eliminate the unwanted malicious programs from their computers. This can be done manually by following the instructions presented in the article or automatically by implementing the suggested anti-malware tools.
The article is only meant to be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions given in the article, you agree to be contracted by the disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the artcile will present you with a solution that removes the malign threats completely. Malware changes constantly, which is why, in some cases, it may be difficult to clean the computer fully by using only the manual removal instructions.