One of the most irritating and frustrating types of unwanted program that you might come across is the so-called Browser Hijacker. Applications that fall under this category are capable of invading all browsers on the computer (Chrome, IE, Edge, Firefox, Opera, etc.) and enforcing different changes and modifications to them such as changed search engine or replaced default homepage. A lot of times Browser Hijackers are also known to cause the browser to be redirected to different websites without the user agreeing to that. Today, we will show you how to deal with this type of software as well as how to prevent such programs from ever getting inside your PC again. Our focus will primarily revolve around one particular Hijacker known as Contentlikes1.com “Virus”. The program has been recently released, yet it has already invaded a significant number of computers. If you are reading this, then the chances are that you too are currently dealing with Contentlikes1.com “Virus”.
The idea behind Browser Hijackers
Most programs that fall under the Hijacker category usually have one primary goal – to earn revenue for their developers by implementing and exploiting different online marketing methods and techniques. This, for example, is why Browser Hijackers tend to heavily modify the user’s browsers and also frequently redirect them to different pages. It’s all part of their advertising schedule that allows them to generate substantial amounts of money for their creators. The users themselves hardly ever get anything out of that, since most Browser Hijackers provide no actual useful features or even if they seem to posses any helpful function, it is hardly ever enough to compensate for all the intrusiveness and obstruction caused by the undesirable program.
Viruses and Hijackers
Usually, Browser Hijackers are regarded as a type of malware (malicious software). However, the truth is that they aren’t really all that harmful. Typically, programs such as Contentlikes1.com “Virus” would not try (or, for that matter, be able) to cause damage to the computer they are on or the files that are on it. Surely, the same cannot be said regarding real viruses the likes of Trojan horses, Worms, Ransomware, etc. Nevertheless, this is not to say that a Browser Hijacker cannot expose your machine to other risks and cannot cause certain problems to your computer.
- For instance, many Browser Hijackers, apart from modifying one’s browser, are also known to mess with the Registry of the computer they are on. Such Registry changes are likely to make the system more vulnerable to different virus attacks and before you know it, you might be dealing with Ransomware or a Trojan as well.
- Another particularly unpleasant Hijacker trait is that most of them could look through your browser history in order to extract valuable marketing data. The data can later be sold to third-parties with neither your knowledge nor your consent.
- Many programs of this type are also known to display shady and deceitful or outright fake browser notifications, offers, warnings, etc. that have been designed to trick the user into interacting with them. Clicking on those can also potentially land you all sorts of unwanted and potentially harmful software.
- On top of everything, applications like Contentlikes1.com “Virus” oftentimes require substantial amounts of CPU and RAM in order to function which drains your PC of its resources and causes it to slow down and become sluggish. At times, this might even trigger different errors and even freezes/crashes.
Keeping Browser Hijackers at bay
Our readers need to understand that just how important it is to protect their computer from any potentially unwanted programs. As we already mentioned, software like Contentlikes1.com “Virus” is not only irritating and frustrating to have around but it could also compromise your PC’s protection and security.
- To decrease the chances of you getting a Browser Hijacker installed onto your machine, we advise you to stay away from websites that might be illegal or ones that have a lot of sketchy and obnoxious ads over their pages. Should you happen to land on such as website, be very careful not to click on any such ads, banners, pop-ups, etc.
- Another thing that you can do is get a reliable, high-quality anti-malware tool. It is always a good idea to have some specialized software tool to keep your machine protected at all times.
- Junkmail is everywhere and is used for all sorts of purposes one of which is the distribution of Browser Hijackers. Always be on your guard when checking your inbox and if a newly received message looks like it could be spam, make sure to avoid it and maybe even delete it.
- If you want to install a new program on your PC, remember to check what options there are in the installation menu. What you are looking for is any added software that has been bundled with the main program. If you see that anything’s been added and if it looks like it could be potentially unwanted, remember to uncheck it before you proceed or the unwanted program might get installed along the other one that you actually want.
Contentlikes1.com “Virus” Pop-up Removal
Before you begin completing the steps from the following guide, we advise you to place a bookmark on this page or have it opened on a separate device since some of the following steps will require you to close your browser.
Enter Safe Mode. If you don’t know how to do it, use this guide.
Open the Task Manger by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Go to the processes/details Tab and take a look at the resulting list. If you see a process with the name of the unwanted program or looks shady, right-click on it and select Open File Location. If you believe it is part of the infection, delete the files.
Use the Winkey+R key combination to open the Run window and in the search field type appwiz.cpl. Hit Enter and in the resulting list, look for recently installed programs that look potentially unwanted. If you find anything – uninstall it.
Re-open Run and this tie type msconfig. Hit Enter again and in the resulting window, go to the Startup tab. See if there are any shady programs there and if anything looks suspicious uncheck it and then select OK.
In the Start Menu search field, copy-paste the following line: notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts . Open the first result and look at the bottom of the file where it says “Localhost”. If there are any IP addresses below that, tell us what they are in the comments since they might be coming from the unwanted software.
Type Network Connections in the Windows search field and click on the first result. Right-click on the adapter that you are using at the moment and go to Properties > Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IP) > Properties.
If the DNS line is not set to Obtain DNS server automatically, make sure to check that option.
Now go to Advanced > DNS tab and remove everything in DNS server addresses, in order of use.
Right-click on your browser’s icon and select Properties. Delete everything in Target that is after .exe”.
For Chrome users
Close Chrome and go to this folder: C:/Users/*Your username*/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. Change the name of the Default folder to Backup Default. Re-open Chrome.
For Firefox users
Open Firefox and click on the Main Menu > Add-ons > Extensions. If you see anything suspicious there, remove it.
For IE users
When you open the browser, go to Tools > Manage Ad-ons and remove the unwanted software if you see it there. Next, go to Tools > Internet options and change the homepage URL to whatever you are normally using.
Open Run (Winkey+R), type Regedit and click on OK. Next, press Ctrl+F and type the malware name. Hit Enter and delete everything that gets found.
If there are no results from the search, manually visit those folders in the Registry Editor.
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/Main
If you find there any suspicious keys that have names with a lot of random letters and numbers, delete them or if you are not sure, tell us in the comments what you saw.