What is ByteFence Secure Browsing?
Developed by Byte Technologies, ByteFence is a legitimate anti-malware suite which is occasionally distributed by including it in setups of other software. ByteFence Secure Browsing is the name of a browser hijacker, a potentially unwanted application (PUA) which is developed by the same company and is being distributed that way too.
Typically, browser hijackers are designed to collect information related to user's browsing habits and promote address of a fake search engine. ByteFence Secure Browsing promotes secured-search.com. It does that by changing certain browser's settings. Browser hijackers are called PUAs because users often download them unknowingly, inadvertently.
After installation browser hijackers modify settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. ByteFence Secure Browsing changes these settings to secured-search.com and does not allow users to remove this address as long as it is installed.
Simply said, this app is designed to make sure that users would visit secured-search.com every time they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. This fake search engine does not generate any individual results, it displays results generated by Yahoo search engine (it redirects users to search.yahoo.com) .
The only way to stop browsers hijacked by ByteFence Secure Browsing from opening secured-search.com is to uninstall this browser hijacker. Furthermore, it is common that browser hijackers can access and collect various browsing data. Usually they target details like IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of opened/visited pages, entered search queries, and so on.
Sometimes apps of this type can be used as tools to collect personal, confidential details. What is worse, their developers may sell collected data to third parties who could misuse it to generate revenue in various ways. It is worthwhile to mention that gathered information may be sold to some cyber criminals.
Users who have their browsers hijacked by apps like ByteFence Secure Browsing risk risk to become victims of identity theft, experience problems related to online privacy, browsing safety, and/or other issues. Therefore, any installed browser hijacker should be uninstalled as soon as possible and never downloaded, installed again.
|Name||ByteFence Secure Browsing|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names||ClamAV (Win.Dropper.Wanna-6651539-0), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/ByteFence.A Potentially Unwanted), Fortinet (Riskware/ByteFence), Microsoft (PUA:Win32/ByteFence), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Browser Extension(s)||ByteFence Secure Browsing|
|Supposed Functionality||ByteFence Secure Browsing is advertised as a tool which increases browsing safety|
|Serving IP Address (secured-search.com)||22.214.171.124|
|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.
There are many various browser hijackers, a couple of examples are Coupon Search, SearchAnything and Templates Here Tab. As a rule, such apps are designed to promote address of some fake search engine and collect browsing data.
It is common that they are advertised as useful, legitimate apps that supposed to deliver some features, improve browsing experience, etc. Nevertheless, very often they do not deliver any value and cause only problems.
How did ByteFence Secure Browsing install on my computer?
ByteFence Secure Browsing is available for download on its official website, however, developers distribute it by using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of third party apps with regular software) too.
This method is effective since many users do not pay enough attention when they are downloading and/or installing various, usually free software.
Developers include PUAs in various download, installation setups and hide information about it in their settings like "Custom", "Advanced".
When people leave them unchecked and unchanged they often agree with offers to download and install unwanted apps together with a desired software. Another way to unintentionally download and/or install PUAs is by clicking deceptive advertisements that are designed to execute certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is common that PUAs are distributed/get downloaded, installed through Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, unofficial pages, third party downloaders, installers and other channels, tools of this kind. Therefore, they should not be used as tools to download or install any software.
It is recommended to download software only from official pages and via direct links. Furthermore, download and installation setups often include settings like "Custom", "Advanced", these settings should be checked for offers to download and/or install unwanted applications.
It is recommended to always decline such offers bedore completing download and installation processes. Advertisements that are displayed on shady pages often lead to various questionable websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. It is not safe to click them.
Although, in some cases they may appear on legitimate pages as well. If there are any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons and/or plug-ins installed on a browser, then they should be uninstalled right away. Programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system should uninstalled too.
Website promoting ByteFence Secure Browsing browser hijacker:
Notification saying that ByteFence Secure Browsing can read and change various data:
ByteFence Secure Browsing redirects to search.yahoo.com through secured-search.com (GIF):
ByteFence anti-malware installer set-up:
Deceptive free software installers used to distribute ByteFence and/or ByteFence Secure Browsing:
Screenshot of a system update pop-up window (potentially delivered by already present unwanted applications) which promotes ByteFence Secure Browisng browser hijacker:
Screenshot of the ByteFence application:
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 ByteFence Secure Browsing?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ByteFence Secure Browsing application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove secured-search.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove ByteFence Secure Browsing browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove secured-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove secured-search.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ByteFence Secure Browsing 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, "ByteFence Secure Browsing"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the secured-search.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ByteFence Secure Browsing 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://secured-search.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 "ByteFence Secure Browsing".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the secured-search.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 "ByteFence Secure Browsing" 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 "ByteFence Secure Browsing", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.secured-search.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 "secured-search.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 secured-search.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 "ByteFence Secure Browsing", 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 "ByteFence Secure Browsing", remove hxxp://secured-search.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 secured-search.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 secured-search.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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