What is SearchStreamsNet browser hijacker?
SearchStreamsNet is the name of a browser hijacker designed to open the searchstreamsnet.com address (to promote a fake search engine). SearchStreamsNet promotes searchstreamsnet.com by changing a web browser's settings. It is worth mentioning that most browser hijackers are distributed using questionable methods.
SearchStreamsNet browser hijacker in detail
Typically, hijackers change the homepage, new tab, and default search settings. SearchStreamsNet sets them to searchstreamsnet.com. Searchstreamsnet.com is a fake search engine that shows results generated by nearbyme.io - a questionable search engine that might show misleading results (promote dubious pages).
It is worth mentioning that searchstreamsnet.com may show results generated by other (legitimate and untrustworthy) search engines. In one way or another, it is strongly recommended not to trust this or any other fake search engine or have a browser hijacker installed on a browser (or the operating system).
Another important detail about browser hijackers is that they do not allow users to change the affected settings since apps of this type keep reverting to their own default configuration. Usually, users can revert a hijacked web browser's settings once a browser hijacker is no longer installed.
Additionally, browser hijackers can be designed to collect browsing-related information (for example, visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, IP addresses) that could be used for marketing purposes, sold to third parties. Also, apps of this kind can be designed to gather sensitive information.
Some browser hijackers can read credit card details, login credentials (usernames, email addresses, passwords), and other sensitive information. Those details might be misused to steal identities, personal accounts, make fraudulent purchases, transactions, or for other purposes.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Improved browsing experience|
|Detection Names||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|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
Most browser hijackers promote fake search engines and collect information about users (their browsing habits). Typically, they are supposed to have some features. Although, most browser hijackers are useless and can be the culprit of various issues. Examples of other browser hijackers are Turbo PDF, Movie Side, and ProRadioSearch.
How did SearchStreamsNet install on my computer?
Sometimes, PUAs are distributed through ads designed to run certain scripts or fake installers. In the first case, users cause unwanted downloads or installations by clicking those ads. In the second case, they cause it by using deceptive installers designed to look like the installers for legitimate programs.
In most cases, users download or install unwanted apps through downloaders or installers for other programs - when PUAs are bundled together with other programs. As a rule, bundled applications can be deselected in "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings. Users agree to download or install PUAs when they leave default settings unchanged.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Third-party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (such as like torrent clients, eMule, and so on), unofficial web pages, and other sources, tools should not be trusted. Files and programs should be downloaded from legitimate (official) websites and through direct links.
As mentioned in the previous section, downloaders and installers for freeware are likely to have "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. It is recommended to check those settings and deselect unwanted apps before finishing downloads or installations.
Intrusive advertisements appearing on untrustworthy pages should not be clicked. It is common that they open other untrustworthy, potentially malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads, installations. All suspicious, unwanted, or unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons that are installed on a browser should be removed.
Programs of the aforementioned kind installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with SearchStreamsNet, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Searchstreamsnet.com shows results generated by nearbyme.io (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 SearchStreamsNet?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchStreamsNet application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SearchStreamsNet browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove searchstreamsnet.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove searchstreamsnet.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchStreamsNet browser hijacker 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 suspicious applications (for example, "SearchStreamsNet"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchstreamsnet.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchStreamsNet 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 "SearchStreamsNet" 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 "SearchStreamsNet", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchstreamsnet.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 "searchstreamsnet.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 searchstreamsnet.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 "SearchStreamsNet", 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 "SearchStreamsNet", remove hxxp://searchstreamsnet.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 searchstreamsnet.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 searchstreamsnet.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.
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