Website Security Checker browser hijacker removal instructions
What is Website Security Checker?
Website Security Checker is a browser hijacker, which is promoted as a free tool for detecting various malicious websites. After successful infiltration, it modifies browsers to promote a fake search engine (browsersecuritycenter.com). Furthermore, it monitors users' browsing activity and gathers their personal information. Due to its dubious distribution methods, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
The most common browser hijacker targets include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and other popular browsers with large user bases. They assign the addresses of their fake web searchers as the homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs. Website Security Checker promotes browsersecuritycenter.com in this manner. Therefore, each new tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to browsersecuritycenter.com. Most fraudulent search tools cannot provide unique results, and so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) a legitimate search engine. In this context, browsersecuritycenter.com is no different: it simply redirects to bing.com, a genuine search engine. While these changes may seem insignificant and straightforward to undo, this is not the case. Any changes users attempt to make to their browsers are automatically reset, if indeed access to settings is permitted at all. Additionally, Website Security Checker has data tracking capabilities. It monitors users' browsing habits (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.) and collects data, such as IP addresses, geolocations and other details. This sensitive data can then be shared with third parties (often, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for financial gain. To summarize, the presence of data tracking content on devices can lead to serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Website Security Checker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names||Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||Website Security Checker|
|Supposed Functionality||It supposedly detects malicious websites.|
|Serving IP Address (browsersecuritycenter.com)||18.104.22.168|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine.|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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 browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
Browsers hijackers often seem legitimate and lure users into downloading/installing them by offering a wide variety of "useful" features. Get Breaking News, QuickTemplateFinder, and Quick Audio Converter are some examples of other browser hijackers. In fact, this can be applied to all PUAs. Unwanted content is used in this way to generate revenue for the developers. The capabilities/features they advertised are usually nonoperational. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs modify browsers, cause redirects to harmful sites, deliver intrusive advertisements, and track private data.
How did Website Security Checker install on my computer?
Some PUAs have official promotional pages (including Website Security Checker), on which they are often endorsed as "free" and "useful" software, however, they can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. The deceptive marketing tactic of packing regular products with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. by skimming or ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.), many users endanger their devices with potential system infiltration and infections. Intrusive ads are also known to proliferate these apps. When clicked, they can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are strongly advised to research all content to verify its legitimacy, before downloading/installing. Use only official and verified download channels. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources are classed as untrustworthy and should be avoided. Untrusted download channels are far more likely to offer deceptive and/or bundled software. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of downloading/installing additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive advertisements typically seem normal and innocuous, however, when triggered (clicked) they redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately. If your computer is already infected with Website Security Checker, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website Security Checker browser hijacker asking for various permissions (to read and change data, etc.):
Website promoting Website Security Checker browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Website Security Checker?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Website Security Checker application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove browsersecuritycenter.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Website Security Checker browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove browsersecuritycenter.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove browsersecuritycenter.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Website Security Checker browser hijacker removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 suspicious applications (for example, "Website Security Checker"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that cause browser redirects to the browsersecuritycenter.com website, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Website Security Checker browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://browsersecuritycenter.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start 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 "Website Security Checker".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the browsersecuritycenter.com redirect, 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:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Website Security Checker" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Website Security Checker" (or simply "Browser Security Center"), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.browsersecuritycenter.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present, click on 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 "browsersecuritycenter.com", 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 browsersecuritycenter.com redirect, 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:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Website Security Checker", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
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://browsersecuritycenter.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your 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: "browsersecuritycenter"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with browsersecuritycenter.com redirect 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 browsersecuritycenter.com redirect, 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove browsersecuritycenter.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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