Nearbyme.io pretends to be a web search tool only to cause redirects
Nearbyme.io (by AirFind Corp) is a website that pretends to provide web search engine services, while in reality it is an unneeded intermediary that simply causes redirects to enhanced Google or Bing search results. Due to such unwanted activities, some users refer to it as “nearbyme.io virus.” While the tool doesn’t actually fall into malware category, it has some tracking capabilities, which is why we do not suggest continuing using it. According to reports, this change in your browser’s homepage and search engine settings may be caused by an extension called Custom Engines or Swift Select.
As specified above, such fake search engines are mostly added to user’s browsers due to installation of suspicious extensions, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and untrustworthy software bundles. In our experience, such annoying applications are often promoted via various gaming, adult-only or free movie streaming sites that ask you to watch loads of untrustworthy ads. Be very careful if you come across such ads because some of them look really convincing and seem legitimate although they may only cause annoyance during your daily web browsing sessions.
After installation of nearbyme.io redirect virus, your browser’s homepage, default search engine and new tab settings might be assigned to redirect to the said domain or its sub-domains such as m.nearbyme.io. Please be aware that besides causing redirects to altered search engine results, such PUPs can also collect various information and transmit it to its own servers. Some of the information it is capable of gathering include:
- Cookies, pixel tags/web beacons, analytics, interest-based advertising technologies;
- IP address, MAC address, cookie identifiers, mobile carrier, details about user’s web browser, location, pages you visited before, during and after usage of the services, links you click.
Be careful because such information may be used to deliver more targeted ads to you and/or shared with third-parties. In general, the sole purpose of such browser-hijacking applications is to collect information to deliver more targeted advertisements or cause series of redirects by hitting random ad servers and consequently generating revenue for the PUP developers in one or another way. There’s hardly any benefit for the user out of this. There are many similar browser hijackers that affect Mac users such as Search Baron, Yahoo redirect virus, SearchLee or SearchMarquis.
The worst part about this redirect problem is that it may not be easy to reset your browser’s settings back to normal. Some of these browser hijackers tend to prevent computer users from changing altered settings or even deleting the associated extension. For this reason, we strongly recommend you to follow the guidelines given below to remove NearbyMe.io redirect virus manually or automatically. If you choose automatic scan for your Mac, consider using robust OS X-oriented antivirus, INTEGO.
|Type||Browser redirect virus, browser hijacker, fake search engine|
|Damage||Arrives in a form of a browser extension that modifies default search engine, browser’s homepage and new tab settings to automatically launch nearbyme.io or its subdomains once the user launches Chrome or another web browser|
|Redirects to||Modified Google or Bing search results|
|Associated company||Airfind Corp|
|Associated browser extensions||Swift Select, Custom Engines and others|
|Infection vectors||Intrusive online ads, software bundles, fake software update installers|
|Removal||Remove Nearbyme.io redirects on Mac using reputable antivirus solution, such as RESTORO.|
Remove Nearbyme.io redirects using INTEGO ANTIVIRUS for Mac (includes scanning for iOS devices). The one-of-a-kind security suite provides VirusBarrier X9 real-time protection against Mac and Windows-based malware, removes existing threats and scans for malware in popular e-mail clients. Includes NetBarrier X9, an intelligent firewall for home, work and public connections.
Avoid installation of browser hijackers
Browser hijackers, or, in other words browser redirect viruses like Nearbyme.io can be dragged into your computer system unknowingly. However, such potentially unwanted programs can be installed after downloading a packed software bundle, from an intrusive online ad (for example, while playing online games or attempting to watch copyright-protected movies online for free) or specifically from a fake Flash update ad. All of these methods are very popular when promoting questionable applications for Windows or Mac.
Speaking of software bundles, you have to be careful during installation of various freeware and look for suggestions to add “recommended” tools or programs to your computer. If you overlook these suggestions and fail to deselect the suggestions to add them to your device, you will end up installing two or even more extras that will bother you on a daily basis. Make sure you always go for “Advanced” or “Custom” installation settings as these allow removal of unwanted tools from the installation procedure.
Additionally, be careful when you browse shady websites online. Say, if you tend to play online games or watch movies on not-so-legal websites online, you probably know that these trigger a high amount of ads before actually providing the promised “service”, if any. The ads suggested by such sites are highly intrusive and tend to advertise various gaming or gambling sites, or push third-party applications of unknown reputation. Many of them suggest “enhanced search” experience by suggesting free maps and directions and other services that are supposed to come in handy to you on a daily basis. However, as we explained before, these are hardly useful and will only slow down your browsing experience and push ads in various forms to you.
Finally, you might encounter some ads that suggest updating Flash player or Java to you. Always read the fine print in these ads as it might just be another shady third-party application in disguise. They use well-known software names as an excuse to sneak into computer systems unnoticed. If you actually need a software update, make sure you go to its official vendor’s website and get it from there.
Remove Nearbyme.io redirects and clean your browsers from unwanted modifications
If you wish to remove nearbyme.io virus from Mac, do not hesitate and consider using a robust antivirus for OS X, such as INTEGO. Additionally, the guide below explains how to remove m.nearbyme.io from Chrome and other browsers manually. Make sure you follow the given instructions with great attention and you will get rid of unwanted programs in no time.
Nearbyme.io virus removal isn’t a complicated process, yet we recommend using professional software to prevent installation of such and even more dangerous apps in the future.
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Nearbyme.io virus Removal Tutorial
Use the following guidelines to get rid of Nearbyme.io virus on Mac. You will need to eliminate suspicious components from several system folders, move unwanted applications to Trash, delete shady profiles and login items created by the potentially unwanted program. Once you complete these steps, follow the instructions how to clean each affected web browser individually.
Eliminate components of unwanted program from Mac system folders
- Click Go in the Mac's Finder toolbar and select Utilities.
- Here, double-click Activity Monitor app.
- In Activity Monitor, you will need to identify suspicious and resource-consuming apps, select them and click the X (Stop) button in the upper left corner of the window. Our suggestion is to search for Mac Security Plus, Spaces, BeAware, ScreenCapture or ScreenSaver apps and similar ones.
- After clicking the Stop button for an app, you will see a prompt asking do you really want to quit this process. Click Force Quit to continue.
- Now, click the Go button in Mac's Finder toolbar and select Go to Folder...
- Here, enter /Library/LaunchAgents and click Go.
- Look through the opened folder for suspicious components that possibly belong to the Nearbyme.io virus. Our recommendation is to look for unrecognized and recently added files. Then, move them to Trash/Bin.
However, malware names hardly ever signal that they are somehow malicious, so you might want to check some questionable names online. For instance, examples of Mac malware related files include com.DataSearch.plist, com.ExpertModuleSearchP.plist, com.pcv.hlpramc.plist, com.updater.mcy.plist, com.avickUpd.plist, com.msp.agent.plist and similar.
- Using the Go to Folder feature, navigate to a location called ~/Library/Application Support. You can simply copy and paste this path to the go to Folder window and click Go.
- Here, identify suspicious folders and move them to Trash. Again, you need to use your common sense and look for recently added programs that aren't related to Mac OS or apps you installed willingly. Examples of unwanted folders include SystemSpecial, IdeaShared, ProgressMatch and DataSearch.
- Use Go to Folder feature once more to navigate to ~/Library/LaunchAgents.
- Here, identify suspicious components and move them to Trash.
- Now, navigate to /Library/LaunchDaemons and eliminate strange or suspicious-looking components possibly related to Nearbyme.io virus. Known examples of Mac-related malware store com.pplauncher.plist, com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist, com.DataSearchP.plist, com.startup.plist and similarly named files here.
Move unwanted applications to Trash
- Click on Finder.
- Go to Applications folder.
- Look for suspicious applications you can't remember installing. Right-click them and select Move to Trash.
- After moving all suspicious apps to Trash, right-click the Trash bin in Mac's Dock and select Empty Trash.
Remove unwanted startup applications on Mac
- Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner and open System Preferences.
- In System Preferences, go to Users & Groups.
- Open Login items tab and look for suspicious applications that start during the Mac startup. Select unwanted app and click on minus (-) button to remove it from the list.
Delete malicious configuration profiles
- Go back by clicking < or close the window and reopen System Preferences via Mac toolbar. Go to Profiles.
- In Profiles, inspect entries on the left pane. Look for suspicious configuration profiles hijacking your browsers' settings and click the minus (-) button to remove them. Examples of known malicious profiles include Chrome Settings, AdminPrefs, Safari Settings, MainSearchPlatform, TechSignalSearch, TechLetterSearch and similar. In example below, the profile includes a suspicious link, although it can contain a function to force browser changes when user tries to revert them.
Remove Nearbyme.io virus from Safari
Uninstall suspicious Safari extensions
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top left corner. Select Preferences in the menu that appears on the screen.
- Now, go to Extensions tab. Look at the left to see all installed extensions, click on suspicious ones and hit that Uninstall button as shown in the picture. Confirm your choice by clicking Uninstall again. Repeat until you get rid of all unwanted extensions.
Change Safari Homepage and default search engine
- In Preferences, open the General tab. Here, check what URL is set as your homepage. Delete it and type in whatever URL you want to set as your Safari Start Page.
- Next, go to the Search tab. Here, choose what Search engine you want to set as default.
- Next, click on Manage websites... then Remove all... and then Done.
Remove push notifications on Safari
Some suspicious websites can try to corrupt your Safari by asking to enable push notifications. If you have accidentally agreed, your browser will be flooded with various intrusive advertisements and pop-ups. You can get rid of them by following this quick guide:
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top-left corner of the screen to select Preferences;
- Go to Websites tab and navigate to Notifications on the left side toolbar.
- Click on Safari > Clear History...
- Then choose to clear All history and hit Clear History button to confirm.
- Go to Safari > Preferences and then open Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data... then Remove All. To finish, click Done.
- Finally, clear Safari cache. In Safari Menu, click Develop > Clear Cache.
Remove Nearbyme.io virus from Google Chrome
Remove suspicious Chrome extensions
- Open Chrome and type chrome://extensions into address bar and press Enter.
- Here, look for suspicious extensions, and Remove them.
- Don't forget to confirm by pressing Remove in the confirmation pop-up.
Change Start Page settings
- In Chrome address bar, type chrome://settings and press Enter.
- Scroll down to the On startup section. Check for suspicious extensions controlling these settings, and Disable them.
- Additionally, you can set browser to Open a specific page or set of pages via these settings. Simply choose this option, click Add a new page, enter your preferred URL (f.e. www.google.com) and press Add.
Change default search settings
- In Chrome URL bar, type chrome://settings/searchEngines and press Enter. Make sure you type searchEngines, not searchengines. Additionally, you can go to chrome://settings and find Manage search engines option.
- First, look at the list of search engines and find the one you want to set as default. Click the three dots next to it and select Make Default.
- Finally, look through the list and eliminate suspicious entries. Right-click the three dots and select Remove from the list.
Remove push notifications from Chrome
If you want to get rid of the annoying ads and so-called push-notifications viruses, you must identify their components and clean your browser. You can easily remove ads from Chrome by following these steps:
- In Google Chrome, press on Menu (upward arrow) in the top-right corner of the window.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security > Site Settings.
- Open Notifications.
- Here, go to the Allow list and identify suspicious URLs. You can either Block or Remove by pressing on the three vertical dots on the right side of the URL. However, we suggest the Block option, so the site won't ask you to enable the notifications if you ever visit it again.
Reset Google Chrome browser
- The final option is to reset Google Chrome. Type chrome://settings in the URL bar, press Enter and then scroll down until you see Advanced option. Click it and scroll to the bottom of the settings.
- Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Click Restore settings to confirm.
Remove Nearbyme.io virus from Mozilla Firefox
Remove unwanted add-ons from Firefox
- Open Firefox and type about:addons in the URL bar. Press Enter.
- Now, click on Extensions (in the left section).
- Click Remove next to every suspicious browser add-on that you can't remember installing.
Change Firefox Homepage
- In Firefox address bar, type about:preferences and hit Enter.
- Look at the left and click the Home tab.
- Here, delete the suspicious URL and type or paste in the URL of a website you'd like to set as your homepage.
Alter preferences in Firefox
- Type about:config in Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
- Click I accept the risk! to continue.
- Here, type in the URL which has taken over your browser without your knowledge. Right-click each value that includes it and choose Reset.
Remove annoying push notifications from Firefox
Suspicious sites that ask to enable push notifications gain access to Mozilla's settings and can deliver intrusive advertisements when browsing the Internet. Therefore, you should remove access to your browser by following these simple steps:
- In Mozilla Firefox, click on Menu (the three horizontal bars) on the top-right corner of the window, then choose Options.
- Click on Privacy and Security, then scroll down to Permissions section.
- Here, find Notifications and click Settings button next to it.
- Identify all unknown URLs and choose to Block them. Click Save Changes afterward.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
- In Firefox, type about:support in the address bar and press Enter.
- Click on Refresh Firefox...
- Click Refresh Firefox again to confirm.
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Matt Corey is passionate about the latest tech news, gadgets and everything IT. Matt loves to criticize Windows and help people solve problems related to this operating system. When he’s not tinkering around with new gadgets he orders, he enjoys skydiving, as it is his favorite way to clear his mind and relax.