How to Remove Safesearchmac.com Browser Hijacker from Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is Safesearchmac.com

Safesearchmac.com is categorized by IT researchers as a browser hijacker. This pest is known to infect devices with the help of their unsuspecting victims. A typical symptom of a hijacker infection is if your browser got flooded with annoying advertisements that constantly interrupt your online activity. This parasite aims to trick you into clicking on unreliable sponsored content, so the cyber criminals who created it will benefit from the pay-per-click scheme. For each click you make, the parasite will generate revenue for its creators and sponsored pages. But, there’s also a big possibility to get redirected to other dangerous third-party websites that seek to inject other malicious parasites into your system. Not to mention the threat a hijacker poses to your privacy – your personal information can easily get stolen if you allow this malicious software to roam free on your Mac. That’s why it is important to take action against it as soon as you notice its presence!

How it is distributed

Browser hijackers like Safesearchmac.com get distributed with the help of deceptive techniques like software bundles, fake update messages, infected email attachments and dubious advertisements. Usually, what happens is the following – the parasite’s presence in a ‘software bundle’ is concealed, so the user has no idea that they’re downloading it along with the freeware they want. Fortunately, there is a way to spot it and opt out of its installation. But, users are known to be careless and often undermine the included terms and Conditions in an installation process. Make sure to read everything before you click the ‘I agree’ button. Most commonly, malware is disguised as additional software. If you see any bonus content you’re unfamiliar with or don’t need – make sure to uncheck the box next to it, so it doesn’t get access to your device. If you fail to check for bonus content, if there were any hidden parasites, they will automatically get installed on your Mac.

How it operates

The name ‘browser hijacker’ derives from the malware’s ability to modify browser settings without needing the victim’s permission. Among the most common actions hijackers take are:

  • the replacement of user’s homepage and preferred search engine;
  • unauthorized installation of suspicious add-ons, toolbars and extensions;
  • random redirects to shady websites that may be harmful to the system;
  • gaining access to private data like passwords, IP addresses, bank accounts, credit card numbers,etc;
  • monitoring online activity;
  • producing enormous amount of intrusive ads and pop-ups;
  • collecting browser data like web history, search queries, etc.

As a result of this malicious activity, the hijacker causes your browser to behave abnormally – lagging, slow internet and frequent crashes are inevitable if your computer has been infiltrated by this parasite.

Staying safe from Safesearchmac.com browser hijacker

Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:

  • Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;

  • Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;

  • Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;

  • It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;

  • No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;

  • Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims.

  • Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.

How to manually remove Safesearchmac.com browser hijacker from Mac

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Safesearchmac.com Browser Hijacker, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the +⌘+U key combination, or going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.

2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.

3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.

4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the +⌘+A key combination.

5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to Safesearchmac.com. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.

6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.

7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to Safesearchmac.com from your Mac browsers.

  • For Mozilla Firefox extensions:

    – Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons‘.

    – Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove‘.

  • For Google Chrome extensions:

    – Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).

    – Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.

  • For Safari extensions:

    – Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.

    – Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall‘. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.

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