What is kotcatk.com?
According to the developers, kotcatk.com is a legitimate search engine that enhances the browsing experience by generating improved results. Judging on appearance alone, kotcatk.com may seem similar to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other legitimate search engines.
Therefore, many users believe that kotcatk.com is also legitimate and useful. In fact, developers promote this site using browser-hijacking download/installation set-ups that modify browser options without users’ permission. Furthermore, kotcatk.com gathers various data relating to web browsing habits.
Rogue set-ups target Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Immediately after infiltration, they assign the new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to kotcatk.com. In addition, set-ups append this URL to the target of each browser shortcut.
Furthermore, rogue set-ups also install a number of "helper objects" (potentially unwanted programs and/or browser plug-ins). Although these changes may seem insignificant, users are unable to revert them. Installed "helper objects" reassign browser options when attempts are made to change them.
Therefore, returning browsers to their previous states becomes impossible and users are encouraged to visit kotcatk.com when they search via the URL bar or simply open a new browser tab/window. These redirects significantly diminish the web browsing experience. Another important issue is information tracking.
Research shows that kotcatk.com and "helper objects" gather various information relating to users' Internet browsing activity. Collected data (IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries) might contain personal details and, furthermore, developers share them with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
There is a probability that this information tracking will lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you encounter redirects to kotcatk.com, immediately eliminate all dubious applications/browser plug-ins and never return to this website.
|Name||kotcatk.com browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
By offering improved search results and other "useful features" (e.g., weather forecasts, shortcuts to popular websites, etc.) fake search engines attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, but are only designed only to generate revenue for the developers. They typically deliver no real value for regular users, cause redirects, and gather data.
Furthermore, some feed users with misleading search results and intrusive advertisements. These often lead to dubious websites. Therefore, using fake search engines might lead to high-risk computer infections.
How did kotcatk.com install on my computer?
As mentioned above, kotcatk.com is promoted using rogue downloaders/installers. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". Developers know that users often rush download/installation processes and skip steps.
Therefore, they hide details regarding modification of browser options within "Custom/Advanced" settings or other sections of the download/installation processes - developers do not disclose these installations properly.
By rushing and skipping download/installation steps, users inadvertently grant set-ups permission to modify various settings. In addition, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are also distributed using "bundling" and intrusive advertising. If you want to prevent installation of this rogue software, be very cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes.
Opt-out of all additionally-included programs (decline offers to download/install them) and never allow set-ups to modify any options. We also advise you to download your applications from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party download/installation tools are often monetized by promoting PUPs.
Therefore, these tools should not be used. Bear in mind that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, but once clicked, redirect to gambling, adult dating, and other dubious sites. In most cases, intrusive ads are delivered by adware-type PUPs.
Therefore, if you encounter suspicious redirects, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. The key to computer safety is caution.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is kotcatk.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall potentially unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove kotcatk.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove kotcatk.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove kotcatk.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove kotcatk.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
kotcatk.com redirect removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently-installed potentially unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes browser redirects to the kotcatk.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
kotcatk.com homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser hijackers:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Remove kotcatk.com-related Internet Explorer add-ons:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select such entries and click "Remove".
Fix Internet Explorer shortcut target:
This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Internet Explorer shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and eliminate text (hxxp://www.kotcatk.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://www.kotcatk.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing" or any other preferred search engine as your default, and then remove "kotcatk.com".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the kotcatk.com browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Remove kotcatk.com-related Google Chrome extensions:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
Fix Google Chrome shortcut target:
This browser hijacker modifies the "Target" field of the Google Chrome shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and eliminate all text (hxxp://www.kotcatk.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.kotcatk.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list, look for "kotcatk", and when located, click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the kotcatk.com browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Remove kotcatk.com-related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove any recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Fix Mozilla Firefox shortcut target:
This browser hijacker changes the "Target" field of the Mozilla Firefox shortcut. To fix this, locate the shortcut on your Desktop and click the right mouse button over it. In the opened menu, choose "Properties". In the opened window, locate the Target field and eliminate all text (hxxp://www.kotcatk.com/...), which is entered after "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window, remove hxxp://www.kotcatk.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "kotcatk.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with kotcatk.com browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the kotcatk.com browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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