Fast-Search.Me is one of the recently discovered computer infection which is classified under browser hijacker or redirect virus category. This simply indicates that if the trait gets installed on a machine somehow, will create frequent hassles to users throughout the online sessions. It’s common in such instances to face off redirect issues, eruption of frequent pop ups or banners, and even more. To overcome such issues or to learn more about Fast-Search.Me in detail, read through this post.
Type: Browser hijacker, adware, pop up virus
Symptoms: Altered values for homepage, new tab, search engine, proxy, and even more
Distribution: Malicious links or ads, suspicious websites, freeware or shareware installer packages, and many more.
Removal: In order to identify and remove Fast-Search.Me from compromised computers, do thorough scan with an antivirus to detect and delete all malicious traits out of computer easily.
Descriptive Details About Fast-Search.Me
As per what the researchers have discovered, Fast-Search.Me is technically a toolbar or browser extension which can be referred as an adware developed by cyber crime master minds. Although, this toolbar may appear helpful for users to accomplish various search preferences at a click, still the users should be aware that it can be a drastic option for their machine as it’s classified as an adware or browser hijacker. The software often employs deceptive marketing trick called bundling to get installed on targeted machines, following which the whole browser settings are affected without user’s permissions.
Bundling, or say Software bundling is a way for developers through which they use to distribute additional applications embedded with other applications. And if in case a user downloads and installs such apps, the additional offers are applied on computers too. Means, the Fast-Search.Me will often get installed on compromised computers through software bundling, after which the browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, IE, etc are compromised to show unwanted values for settings like homepage, new tab, and search engine defaults. As a result, every time the victims attempt to surf online sessions, they may expect to see unwanted pop up adverts or redirects to nasty or shady online sources.
The unwanted impacts caused by Fast-Search.Me doesn’t count only in face of hijacked browser settings or redirects to phishing or deceptive websites, but also continues to user’s online privacy and financial concerns. A browser hijacker or adware like Fast-Search.Me often manage to keep an eye over all your personal inputs, search key preferences, email addresses, geolocation, financial details, and many more. All such details are collected from computers and saved in logs, which further get accessed by criminals for illicit purposes.
How Fast-Search.Me did install on my computer?
As already mentioned, the most common method to distribute traits liks Fast-Search.Me globally is Software Bundling. In addition to these, the malicious traits can also be promoted through Email Spam marketing, suspicious websites, and more other social engineering tricks. To prevent such things, it’s necessary for users to be highly preventive against unwanted or malicious traits specially while connected to web. However, in case if your system is running out of order due to Fast-Search.Me and its negative impacts on your machine, we highly suggest you to follow guidelines under this article.
Antimalware Details And User Guide
Important Note: This malware asks you to enable the web browser notifications. So, before you go the manual removal process, execute these steps.
Google Chrome (PC)
- Go to right upper corner of the screen and click on three dots to open the Menu button
- Select “Settings”. Scroll the mouse downward to choose “Advanced” option
- Go to “Privacy and Security” section by scrolling downward and then select “Content settings” and then “Notification” option
- Find each suspicious URLs and click on three dots on the right side and choose “Block” or “Remove” option
Google Chrome (Android)
- Go to right upper corner of the screen and click on three dots to open the menu button and then click on “Settings”
- Scroll down further to click on “site settings” and then press on “notifications” option
- In the newly opened window, choose each suspicious URLs one by one
- In the permission section, select “notification” and “Off” the toggle button
- On the right corner of the screen, you will notice three dots which is the “Menu” button
- Select “Options” and choose “Privacy and Security” in the toolbar present in the left side of the screen
- Slowly scroll down and go to “Permission” section then choose “Settings” option next to “Notifications”
- In the newly opened window, select all the suspicious URLs. Click on the drop-down menu and select “Block”
- In the Internet Explorer window, select the Gear button present on the right corner
- Choose “Internet Options”
- Select “Privacy” tab and then “Settings” under the “Pop-up Blocker” section
- Select all the suspicious URLs one by one and click on the “Remove” option
- Open the Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots on the right corner of the screen to open the menu
- Scroll down and select “Settings”
- Scroll down further to choose “view advanced settings”
- In the “Website Permission” option, click on “Manage” option
- Click on switch under every suspicious URL
- On the upper right side corner, click on “Safari” and then select “Preferences”
- Go to “website” tab and then choose “Notification” section on the left pane
- Search for the suspicious URLs and choose “Deny” option for each one of them
Manual Steps to Remove Fast-Search.Me:
Remove the related items of Fast-Search.Me using Control-Panel
Windows 7 Users
Click “Start” (the windows logo at the bottom left corner of the desktop screen), select “Control Panel”. Locate the “Programs” and then followed by clicking on “Uninstall Program”
Windows XP Users
Click “Start” and then choose “Settings” and then click “Control Panel”. Search and click on “Add or Remove Program’ option
Windows 10 and 8 Users:
Go to the lower left corner of the screen and right-click. In the “Quick Access” menu, choose “Control Panel”. In the newly opened window, choose “Program and Features”
Mac OSX Users
Click on “Finder” option. Choose “Application” in the newly opened screen. In the “Application” folder, drag the app to “Trash”. Right click on the Trash icon and then click on “Empty Trash”.
In the uninstall programs window, search for the PUAs. Choose all the unwanted and suspicious entries and click on “Uninstall” or “Remove”.
After you uninstall all the potentially unwanted program causing Fast-Search.Me issues, scan your computer with an anti-malware tool for any remaining PUPs and PUAs or possible malware infection. To scan the PC, use the recommended the anti-malware tool.
How to Remove Adware (Fast-Search.Me) from Internet Browsers
Delete malicious add-ons and extensions from IE
Click on the gear icon at the top right corner of Internet Explorer. Select “Manage Add-ons”. Search for any recently installed plug-ins or add-ons and click on “Remove”.
If you still face issues related to Fast-Search.Me removal, you can reset the Internet Explorer to its default setting.
Windows XP users: Press on “Start” and click “Run”. In the newly opened window, type “inetcpl.cpl” and click on the “Advanced” tab and then press on “Reset”.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 Users: Press the Windows logo, type inetcpl.cpl in the start search box and press enter. In the newly opened window, click on the “Advanced Tab” followed by “Reset” button.
For Windows 8 Users: Open IE and click on the “gear” icon. Choose “Internet Options”
Select the “Advanced” tab in the newly opened window
Press on “Reset” option
You have to press on the “Reset” button again to confirm that you really want to reset the IE
Remove Doubtful and Harmful Extension from Google Chrome
Go to menu of Google Chrome by pressing on three vertical dots and select on “More tools” and then “Extensions”. You can search for all the recently installed add-ons and remove all of them.
If the problems related to Fast-Search.Me still persists or you face any issue in removing, then it is advised that your reset the Google Chrome browse settings. Go to three dotted points at the top right corner and choose “Settings”. Scroll down bottom and click on “Advanced”.
At the bottom, notice the “Reset” option and click on it.
In the next opened window, confirm that you want to reset the Google Chrome settings by click on the “Reset” button.
Remove Fast-Search.Me plugins (including all other doubtful plug-ins) from Firefox Mozilla
Open the Firefox menu and select “Add-ons”. Click “Extensions”. Select all the recently installed browser plug-ins.
If you face problems in Fast-Search.Me removal then you have the option to rese the settings of Mozilla Firefox.
Open the browser (Mozilla Firefox) and click on the “menu” and then click on “Help”.
Choose “Troubleshooting Information”
In the newly opened pop-up window, click “Refresh Firefox” button
The next step is to confirm that really want to reset the Mozilla Firefox settings to its default by clicking on “Refresh Firefox” button.
Remove Malicious Extension from Safari
Open the Safari and go to its “Menu” and select “Preferences”.
Click on the “Extension” and select all the recently installed “Extensions” and then click on “Uninstall”.
Open the “Safari” and go menu. In the drop-down menu, choose “Clear History and Website Data”.
In the newly opened window, select “All History” and then press on “Clear History” option.
Delete Fast-Search.Me (malicious add-ons) from Microsoft Edge
Open Microsoft Edge and go to three horizontal dot icons at the top right corner of the browser. Select all the recently installed extensions and right click on the mouse to “uninstall”
Open the browser (Microsoft Edge) and select “Settings”
Next steps is to click on “Choose what to clear” button
Click on “show more” and then select everything and then press on “Clear” button.
In most cases, the PUPs and adware gets inside the marked PC through unsafe freeware downloads. It is advised that you should only choose developers website only while downloading any kind of free applications. Choose custom or advanced installation process so that you can trace the additional PUPs listed for installation along with the main program.