Privitize VPN Search Hijacker

Privitize VPN is a browser hijacker that when run can change your default home page, control searches, and cause browser hijacking problems. This adware or malware as some may call it, can get into your computer and installing a program that is packed with it. As of this writing, there are almost dozens of free software are deploying Privitize VPN Search Hijacker. It is installed on PC without asking permission from user.

If Privitize VPN is installed in full, you may notice that your home page will have the default address of http://search.privitize.com/?aff=7. In some browser, it will reveal unfamiliar Google URL such as google.com/webhp. The adware may use various addresses and names to confuse user as well as anti-malware programs to prevent own removal. Privitize VPN Search Hijacker is not as harmful as other malware and viruses; however, it can bother you by redirecting your searches to unknown web site. Worst, it may deliver a harmful site that can drop other threats onto your computer.

You should never install any programs coming from unknown sources. Most importantly, be aware of the program you are installing. It might contain adware like Privitize VPN that can integrate search hijacker and toolbar to your Internet browser. Whenever you are installing free tools, always pick the ‘custom install’ and exclude needless features.

TypeHijacker
Sub-TypeAdware
OS AffectedWindows

What are the Symptoms of Privitize VPN Hijacker?

With URL http://search.privitize.com/?aff=7 and http://google.com/webhp on your home page manifests the presence of Privitize VPN on the computer. Image below shows the main site for this adware.

Privitize VPN

Follow these Procedures to Remove Privitize VPN Search

Procedure 1: Uninstall Privitize VPN Search from Windows Control Panel

1. To adjust computer settings, please click Start button located on the left part of taskbar. Select Control Panel from the list of programs.

2. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. It will open a program and features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software. Please refer to the image below.

3. Look for the name Privitize VPN Search or any related term. Please note that the adware may change the title anytime. In such cases, locate any suspicious name from the list. Once found, please select the item you wanted to remove.

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

Uninstall Item

4. Click on Uninstall button to remove the program automatically.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK to proceed.

Procedure 1: Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking

Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

- After turning On the power of the computer, just before Windows start, press F8.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.

SafeMode Networking

Procedure 2: Scan and remove Privitize VPN Search files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

To remove Privitize VPN Search, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by clicking on the button below. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.

Download Privitize VPN Search Removel Tool

1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed. The tool will launch.
4. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program.

Procedure 3.A : INTERNET EXPLORER - Privitize VPN Search removal procedure

If the hijacker was not removed properly during the scan, you can use this guide to uninstall it from the computer. We prepared procedures to remove this unknown search program from various Internet browsers including Internet Explorer 8/9, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Instructions for Internet Explorer 8:

1. Launch the program Internet Explorer 8.
2. On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Internet Options.

Internet Options

3. It will open the options window; make sure that you are viewing the General tab. Look for the area that says "Search" and click the Settings button.

IE 8 Search Settings

4. You will see a list of search providers. Select your preferred search provider and click the button Set as default to replace Privitize VPN Search.

IE Unknown Search

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

5. You may now remove Privitize VPN Search from the list. Highlight the item and click on Remove button.

Instructions for Internet Explorer 9:

1. Launch the program Internet Explorer 9.
2. On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Internet Options.
3. On General tab, proceed to Change search defaults and click the Settings button.
4. You will see a list of search providers. Select your desired search provider and click the button Set as default to replace Privitize VPN Search.
5. You may now remove Privitize VPN Search from the list.

Guide to remove Privitize VPN Search Add-ons and Extensions from Internet Explorer

1. Launch the program Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, please navigate to Tools > Manage add-ons. It will open a window where in you can view and manage Internet Explorer add-ons.
3. Select Toolbars and Extensions on left panel. Go to right panel and look for Privitize VPN Search related item.

Remove Add-ons on IE

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

4. Select the unwanted toolbar and extensions and click on Disable.
5. Close the existing window and restart Internet Explorer.

Procedure 3.B : MOZILLA FIREFOX - Privitize VPN Search removal guide

1. Launch the program Mozilla Firefox.
2. On Google's Search box, click the arrow down sitting right beside the 'G' logo.

Manage Search Engines in Firefox

3. Click on Manage Search Engines... from the drop-down list to see all search engines installed in Firefox.
4. Choose your preferred default search provider by placing it at the top most position. Highlight the item and click on Move up until it reaches the first spot.

Firefox Default Search

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

5. To remove Privitize VPN Search from Firefox, highlight on its name and click the Remove button. Then, click OK.
6. Back at Firefox main screen, type about:config in the address bar. If it shows a warning, "This might void your warranty!" please click "I'll be carefull, I promise!"
7. Firefox will display a list of entire preferences including those that were modified by Privitize VPN Search.

Firefox About:Config

8. In the Search field, type the name of malware. Then, right-click and Reset values for found Preferences.

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

Firefox Search Preference

9. Navigate to top menu and click on Tools, the click Options.
10. On General Tab, under Home Page, type the desired address or simply click Restore to Default. Click OK to save the settings. This will reverse the changes made by Privitize VPN Search on your home page.

Firefox Home Page

Procedures to delete Privitize VPN Search Extensions from Firefox

1. Open Mozilla Firefox Internet browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools and select Add-ons from the list. You can also press CtrlShift+A on your keyboard to access this option.
3. Once the Add-ons manager is open, select Extensions from the sidebar.

Remove Add-on in Firefox

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

4. Find the unknown add-on and click on Remove button. Click OK to save the settings.
5. Please restart Firefox to complete the process.

Procedure 3.C : GOOGLE CHROME - Privitize VPN Search removal procedure

1. Launch the program Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Wrench or 3-Bars icon on top right corner of the browser.

Google Chrome Settings

3. Choose Settings from the drop down list. It will open a window containing Google Chrome settings.
4. Find the area that says "Search". This is located in the middle part of the page.

Manage Search Engines in Google Chrome

5. Click on Manage search engines. It will show a list of Search engines including the default one.
6. Mouse-over to your preferred search engine and click Make default.

Remove Unknown Search in Chrome

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

7. Then, to remove Privitize VPN Search from Google Chrome, mouse-over to that item and click on the X mark.

Delete Privitize VPN Search extension from Google Chrome:

1. Launch the program Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Wrench or 3-Bars icon on top right corner of the browser.
3. Choose Settings from the drop down list. It will open a window containing Google Chrome settings.
4. Click on Extensions of the left side bar to display all installed extensions.

Remove Extension in Chrome

NOTE: To represent Privitize VPN Search, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that Privitize VPN Search may use other names or terms such as the following: PrivatizeVPN, Zoom, and 000 Industry

5. On the right panel of the window, Disable/Delete (Trash) Privitize VPN Search extensions.
6. Close the current window and restart Google Chrome.

Remove Privitize VPN Search from Google Chrome's home page:

1. Open Google Chrome Internet browser.
2. Click on the Wrench or 3-Bars icon on top right corner of the browser.
3. Choose Settings from the drop down list. It will open a window containing Google Chrome settings.
4. Navigate to On startup area and click on Open a specific page or set of pages.

Chrome Onstartup

5. On Add a new page box, please type your desired home page address if you wishes to.

Chrome Home Page

6. Remove Privitize VPN Search startup page by highlighting the item, then click on the X mark beside it. Click OK.
7. On the same page, go to Appearance section. Check the settings on New Tab page, click Change to display the default home page address. Then, click OK to save the setting.

Chrome Appearance

8. Remove the malware entry in 'Open this page' box. You can replace it with any desired home page address. See the image for your reference.

Chrome Home Page

Protect your PC from Privitize VPN Search or Similar Attack

Turn On Safe Browsing Features

Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter

Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious files online. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:

1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.

IE SmartScreen Filter

4. Please restart Internet Explorer.

Google Chrome's Enable Phishing and Malware Protection

With Google Chrome's Phishing and Malware Detection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious. To enable Phishing and Malware Protection, please do these steps:

1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (3-Bars Icon) located on top right corner of the browser.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
5. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Enable phishing and malware protection'.

Chrome Security Settings

6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.

Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries

Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats on the computer. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:

  • Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
  • Block reported attack sites
  • Block reported web forgeries

Firefox Security Settings

Remove Privitize VPN Search & Protect Your Computer Now!

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20 Responses to“Privitize VPN Search Hijacker”

  1. Tom
    January 7, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Now they are trying to install zoom.exe thirdparty software…

    BS… privitize vpn just selling privit info!!!!

  2. Grateful!
    January 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    This is easily the most comprehensive and thorough guide to getting rid of this most pernicious and annoying bit of malware. Cannot express enough thanks to you for this guide!

  3. Rafael
    January 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    I am not infected, But I love how you made the guide!

  4. Larry
    January 11, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    I did this went to control panel yet couldn’t find it,i hate this vpn crap everytime i search for something it uses it cept since yesterday when my laptop did a automatic repair after a pretty bad crash & restored to a previous date it now says it offline.The search goes to searchab.com if that helps at all

  5. LucyGreen
    January 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Thankyou sooo much. Finally someone that speaks the language of the people. Jargon free great information. Keep doing what you are doing!

  6. Rose
    January 18, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    I’m so done with this virus crap I’m afraid that I’ll just download another virus I’m just done ugh

  7. Jason
    January 19, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    Thank you soooo much! This was the only relevant post in a sea of worthless how-to uninstall pages! Simple, thorough, and best of all it WORKED!! :) You rock!

  8. Brooke
    January 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I have privitize vpn installed without the adware, just choose “custom” install when installing and uncheck the adware junk. This is pretty common with most free software, always use the custom install and remove the adware or junkware.

    Privitize VPN, if installed without the junkware, is a great product.

  9. Liz
    January 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Worked perfectly. I thought I had all of it removed and then went through each step and found “privitize” residue still there. Thank you for posting this!

  10. Bear
    January 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Internet explorer won’t let me delete the zoomex files off of extensions

  11. fabCOM
    January 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    I had once installed the toolbar and it worked fined. I was actually in loved with the tools it provided. I did some windows installation and I need the toolbar back. Can some body give a link a site where I can get the PrivitizeToobar back. THANKS!

  12. John Q
    February 7, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Great write-up! Thank you! I had done most of the steps on my own but never would have found the other problems, so thank you!!

  13. nell
    February 10, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    i got problem in pressing f8 it doesn’t show same content as what was in your guide. and where can i get free anti-malware scanner ?? thanks

  14. jackmorgan
    February 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    thank you so much for this guide it took a lot on searching but i found it as ZOOMEX i removed it and ads are all gone! pretty sure i got it from pirate bay it was still worth the free movie

  15. kambell soup
    February 20, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    thanks heaps you fellas!! worked 100% you rock

  16. Anthony
    February 24, 2013 at 2:47 am #

    Very easy to follow thank you very much!
    However, i still have the problem of ‘freezing’ browsers when i connect to the internet.
    Would there be any other place infected files would be placed in my computer that I need to get rid of?

  17. Priscilla
    March 5, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I thought restoring my computer would have been enough (I accidentally installed Privitize VPN this past weekend). But while it didn’t appear in the Control Panel and my settings returned to default, it did appear as an option in my search bar. These instructions were a big help, and also helped me to get rid of other programs I don’t remember installing. Thank you.

  18. vince
    March 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    I agree with everyone else, this is the only uninstall guide that worked/ made any sense/ didnt want me to give them money. you are awesome thank you!

  19. VNLXV
    March 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    VPN is actually very useful you guys just need smarten up and realize that when you install something you must always remember to uncheck any other unneeded functions like a toolbar.

  20. ayer_2003
    April 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    I love this page…. thank you so much for the guide… completely remove Privitize VPN from my PC.

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