What is Secure Color Search?
Secure Color Search is a browser extension that our research team found while inspecting dubious download pages. This extension allows users to select a color on a website and learn its HEX, RGB, and HSV codes. However, our analysis revealed that Secure Color Search operates as adware.
Secure Color Search adware overview
Advertising-supported software displays various ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces. The advertisements promote unreliable/harmful pages and software, online scams, and even malware. Furthermore, some intrusive advertisements are capable of downloading/installing software stealthily - once clicked on.
Note that any legitimate products encountered via these adverts are unlikely to be promoted by their actual developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
It must be mentioned that adware may require certain conditions to run intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to specific websites, etc.). However, regardless of whether Secure Color Search delivers ads - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.
What is more, Secure Color Search has data tracking functionalities. Targeted information can include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, personally identifiable details, account log-in credentials, financial/banking data, etc. The gathered information can then be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Secure Color Search on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Secure Color Search|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Secure Color Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Providing color codes on areas selected on a website|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution Methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
This software usually appears legitimate and innocuous. Users are lured into download/installation with various features, which are seldom operational. Even if the functionalities work, it does not change the fact that advertising-supported software threatens device integrity and user privacy.
How did Secure Color Search install on my computer?
We acquired Secure Color Search from a questionable download webpage. Adware is also endorsed through scam websites. Most users access these pages via redirects caused by sites that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
Intrusive adverts proliferate advertising-supported software as well. When clicked on, some of these advertisements can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Additionally, adware can be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Additionally, installation processes must be approached with care, e.g., reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.
We advise exercising caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious material typically appears harmless. For example, intrusive adverts appear legitimate yet redirect to dubious sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Secure Color Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Secure Color Search adware's functionality:
Screenshot of the website used to promote Secure Color Search adware:
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 Secure Color Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Secure Color Search application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Secure Color Search ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Secure Color Search' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Secure Color Search extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Secure Color Search adware 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 "Secure Color Search", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Secure Color Search ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Secure Color Search adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
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 "Secure Color Search", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by secure color search, 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "Secure Color Search".
Computer users who have problems with ads by secure color search 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, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
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 upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by secure color search, 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.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What harm can adware cause?
Adware can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. It also poses a threat to user privacy, as advertising-supported software typically has data tracking abilities. Adware-displayed ads can be hazardous and cause serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware is designed to display advertisements on visited webpages and/or other interfaces. This software may also be capable of force-opening sites and collecting private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily through affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, apps, services, etc. The developers may earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Secure Color Search adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate detected adware-type applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal. In some cases, even after the advertising-supported software has been (manually) removed - various leftovers (files) remain hidden within the system. Furthermore, these remnants may continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is paramount to remove adware thoroughly.