What is MyIncognitoSearch?
MyIncognitoSearch is a browser hijacker promoting the myincognitosearch.com fraudulent search engine. It operates by making modifications to browser settings - to cause redirects to its fake web searcher. Additionally, MyIncognitoSearch spies on users' browsing activity. Due to the dubious methods used to distribute browser hijackers, they are also categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker in detail
Browser hijackers primarily target popular browsers with large user bases. Following successful installation, this software assigns fraudulent web searcher addresses as browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs.
MyIncognitoSearch modifies browsers in this manner as well. To elaborate on how these alterations affect browsing, with this browser hijacker installed: every search query typed into the URL bar and new browser tab/window opened - redirect to myincognitosearch.com.
Fake search engines are seldom able to provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) genuine ones. Myincognitosearch.com is not an exception to this; it has been observed redirecting both to the legitimate Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) and fake searchlee.com search engines (possibly others). While searchlee.com can generate search results, they are inaccurate and may endorse unreliable/malicious content.
Browser hijackers can restrict or deny access to the browser settings. Alternatively, they can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers. Therefore, restoring a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.
What is more, MyIncognitoSearch has data tracking abilities. It can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information extracted from it (IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.). The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. It is crucial to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Serving IP Address (myincognitosearch.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 Combo Cleaner.
Browser hijackers in general
SportsSearchDirect, Safe2Search, HDMusicStreamSearches - are a few examples of browser hijackers. They appear ordinary and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of "useful" features. However, the functions are usually nonoperational.
In fact, nearly all PUAs offer a broad range of functionalities, which rarely work. The only goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers; they have no real value to users. PUAs are designed to hijack browsers, force-open untrustworthy/malicious sites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private data.
How did MyIncognitoSearch install on my computer?
Some PUAs (e.g., MyIncognitoSearch) have "official" promotional/download webpages. Intrusive advertisements are used to proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to download/install this software without user permission.
PUAs are also spread via downloaders/installers of other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular products with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is advised to research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels must be used. Untrustworthy sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and/or bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and so on).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirect of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with MyIncognitoSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Websites promoting MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker:
Appearance of myincognitosearch.com redirecting to the searchlee.com fake search engine (GIF):
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 MyIncognitoSearch?
- STEP 1. Uninstall MyIncognitoSearch application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove myincognitosearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove myincognitosearch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker removal:
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 suspicious applications (for example, "MyIncognitoSearch"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the myincognitosearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
MyIncognitoSearch browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
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 "MyIncognitoSearch" 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 "MyIncognitoSearch", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.myincognitosearch.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 "myincognitosearch.com", 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 myincognitosearch.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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "MyIncognitoSearch", 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 disable "MyIncognitoSearch", remove hxxp://myincognitosearch.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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with myincognitosearch.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 myincognitosearch.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 myincognitosearch.com redirect from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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