Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Low
Blekko toolbar - how to eliminate browser redirects to blekko.com?
The Blekko search engine aims to be a spam-free search results provider. This is a community-based search engine, which attempts to fight spam results in search engines and features its own crawler and human review process. This website and associated search engine are not malicious and are unrelated to malware or virus infections, however, some computer users complain that they are redirected to Blekko.com unwillingly. Redirect problems such as this are related to installation of the Blekko toolbar. This browser plug-in modifies computer users' Internet browser settings and changes the homepage and default search engine to blekko.com
If you feel that you have inadvertently downloaded and installed this browser add-on, it is probable that it was bundled with free software that you downloaded from the Internet (for example download.com offers this toolbar using their download client). The Blekko toolbar alone is not malicious and features several quick launch buttons for social networks and weather forecasts, however, in order to avoid unwilling installation of this type of browser extension, computer users should pay close attention when downloading and installing free software. A common monetization strategy is to bundle free software with additional Internet browser add-ons. As mentioned above, redirects to blekko.com are not related to malware infections - it is a direct consequence of Blekko toolbar installation.
Blekko is a legitimate search engine, safe to use for daily Internet searches, with results that seem legitimate. The Blekko toolbar, however, is bundled with Anti-phishing Domain Advisor (a browser add-on by Panda labs), which is known to display unwanted ads and coupon offers. If you have willingly installed the Blekko toolbar and aware of redirects to blekko.com, you need take no further action, however, if you feel that you have inadvertently installed it and are annoyed by redirects to this website, use this removal guide to eliminate the problem.
Blekko redirect removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "Programs and Features". Look for "Blekko Search Bar, Anti-phishing Bar", select these entries and click Uninstall.
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Look for "Blekko Search Bar, Anti-phishing Bar", select these entries and click Remove.
After uninstalling the Blekko Toolbar, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Blekko toolbar removal from browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove the Blekko Toolbar from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for Visicom Media Inc. related entries (Blekko Search Bar, Blekko Search Bar Toolbar, Blekko Search Bar Helper Object) and disable them. To change your homepage from blekko.com to your preferred domain, click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove blekko.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.
Remove Blekko Toolbar from FireFox:
Click "Tools" (at the top of the window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable "Blekko Search Bar" or "SpamFreeSearch". To reset your homepage click "Tools", then select "Options", in the opened window remove blekko.com and enter your preferred domain.
Remove Blekko from Google Chrome:
Click on the wrench or bars icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate this entry: "Blekko Search Bar" select it and click on the trash can icon. To change your homepage from blekko.com to your preferred domain, click on the wrench (bars) icon, select "Settings". In "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over blekko.com and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.
To change your homepage in Google Chrome: Click the "Bars" icon (top right corner), select "Settings", in "On Startup section" click on "Set pages" (open a specific page or set of pages), remove blekko.com and enter your preferred domain.
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click on the "Bars" icon (top right corner), select "Settings", in "Search" section click "Manage Search Engines...", remove Blekko and add or select your preferred domain.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.
A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. Here are some examples of free software download clients that are used in Blekko Redirect distribution:
To avoid installation of Blekko Redirect be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine:
Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.
Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker:
- Your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed.
- Appearance of new toolbars.
- Slow performance of Internet browsers.
- New Bookmarks or Favorites added.
- You can't change your homepage or default search engine.
- You see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website.
- You get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Blekko Redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.