Guide to Remove Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker
Search.maps2go.net is a potentially unwanted program deemed as a noxious browser hijacker. Distributed via skeptical methods that obscure its presence, the malware once infiltrated exhibits intrusive behavior. The malicious program is designed to trick users into installing unwanted applications & display sponsored search results to generate unethical revenue.
Search.maps2go.net is a devastating domain that runs as an extension to browser program. The malevolent add-on is designed to specifically target Mac Operating System. It is however available for free download in Chrome web store as well. To inveigle users to download and install this disguised Browser Redirect Virus, the rogue application claims to:
- Assist drivers by providing appropriate driving directions to any place in the world.
- Navigate you to any desired place with the best route for your car, bike or even foot.
This rogue application proclaims to:
- Collect information that may concern your identity & personal preferences.
- Fetch Anonymous information or non-personal information like IP address, number of page views, link clicks.
- Keep a track on browser cookies: both session cookies & persistent cookies.
- Share the collected information with third parties, affiliated companies & search providers.
The pernicious add-on affects all popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari etc. Users are therefore recommended to be cautions and not fall in the trap of this disguised map services application.
Search.maps2go.net Search Engine Description
This UI of this vicious application is appealing & appear legitimate & useful to compel users to download it. Among the many features it exhibits include:
- The template design makes it easier for users to surf internet. For Instance, users have the provision to view images, videos, News & navigate to shopping sites as per the menus available in the UI of the web page.
The reality however is the News tab in the menu bar is non-functional, the Shopping tab serves no purpose.
This is not all! The time taken by the application to load search results is more than the time taken by the popular search engines rendering it futile.
Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker- Threat Behavior
The infestation of Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker encounters you with an endless array of negatives. These include:
- Modification of browser settings: The malicious browser add-on replaces the home page, search engine & new tab with its own. Search results are directed to https://search.yahoo.com to deceive users to believe that the search engine is authenticated. However, the search results are inaccurate & direct users to third party web pages that may be malicious.
- Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker sieges browser screen with intrusive ads & pop-ups. The malware pervasively tracks important information related to user interest & identity. This is done to display relevant ads & links that attain undivided attention of users. It’s a mere trick to increase the probability of getting the ad clicked to generate pay-per click revenue.
Hence it is important to protect your system from this hazardous threat. As soon as its existence is discovered, victims are requested to act towards its deletion. The following guidelines will help you get rid of the malicious extension from the system.
Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker- Distribution Tactics
The cybercriminals use various strategies for Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker distribution which include –
- Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
- Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
- Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
- Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
Browsers Affected: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari
Targeted Operating System: Windows & MAC
Category: Browser Hijacker
Symptoms: Homepage, new tab and search engine are replaced with https://search.yahoo.com.
Appearance of sponsored ads and pop-ups
Unnatural network activities
How to Remove Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker?
STEP A : Remove malicious extensions from your browser
- Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots ( ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
- Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.
- Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.
- Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “ijekngkpdlgeldbcbeeabcmhinlhbkgi”
- Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.
- Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
- Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “ijekngkpdlgeldbcbeeabcmhinlhbkgi”. Delete the folder if present.
- Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.
- Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines ( ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.
- On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.
- Find the extensions related to Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker and click on the remove button.
- In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.
- On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
- A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.
- The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.
- On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
- Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.
STEP B: Show Hidden Files and Folders
- Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
- On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
- On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
- Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.
Windows 8 and 10
- On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
- In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
- Click on the options button.
- Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
- Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
- Click the “OK” button to save your changes.
STEP C: How To Reset Your Browser
- Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines () which are at the top right corner of the computer screen.
- A Drop down menu will be displayed. On this menu click on the “Help” () button as shown in the image below. The Help menu will be displayed on the screen.
- From this menu click the option that reads “Troubleshooting information“. A new tab will open up with the <strong”>Troubleshooting information.
- On the Troubleshooting Information page, click on the button that reads “Refresh Firefox” as shown in the image below.
- The “Refresh Firefox” message box will pop up on the screen. On this message box click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.
- After this Firefox will close itself and a new window will be displayed which will list the information that is imported. Click on the option that reads “Finish” to complete the task.
- Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots ( ) which is at the top right corner of the computer screen. A drop down menu will appear on the screen. From this menu choose the option that reads “Settings”.
- The Chrome’s settings window will be displayed on the screen. On this screen scroll through the bottom of the page and click on the option that reads “Advanced option” as shown below.
- The Advanced setting options will be displayed on the screen. Scroll through the list of options till you find the “ Reset browser settings” section. Click on the icon as shown below.
- The reset dialogue box will pop up on the screen. From this dialogue box click on the button that reads “Reset”.
- Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon ( ) which is at the top right corner of the browser screen. A drop down menu will be displayed on the screen. From this drop down menu, click on the option that reads “Internet options”.
- The “Internet options” dialogue box will be displayed. Click on the “Advanced” tab. In the Advanced tab click on the button that reads “Reset” as shown in the image below. The “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” section will be displayed on the screen. Now click on the button that reads “Reset” .Precautions: In this dialogue box make sure to uncheck the “Delete Personal settings” option to save your passwords and other important data.
- When it’s done, click on the button that reads “Close” to complete the task. Now close and reopen your browser.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected from Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker –
- Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
- Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
- Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
- Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
- Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Kaspersky Labs Inc and Sophos so that it remains safe.
- Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.