search.myonlinecoupons.com is a very generic browser hijacker website that you might suddenly find set as your homepage. If that is the case and you have no recollection of doing it yourself, your computer is likely infected with a browser hijacker. Before you start to worry about potential damage to your computer, you should know that hijackers are not serious computer infections. They’re more annoying than anything because they mainly focus on redirecting users to sponsored websites. To do that, they change browser’s settings and set questionable websites as homepages/new tabs. In this particular case, search.myonlinecoupons.com would be set as your homepage.
The hijacker is advertised as an extension that will supposedly help you save money by finding coupons and discounts. Hijackers are often disguised as something useful in order to convince users to keep them installed. But in most cases, they turn out to be completely useless. It’s the same with this hijacker.
Browser hijackers often install without explicit permission. They come attached to free software as extra offers, and unless users deselect them, they will install alongside. This is how unwanted programs like browser hijackers, adware and potentially unwanted programs are distributed. If you don’t remember installing the extension, it installed via freeware bundles. If that is the case, the sooner you remove search.myonlinecoupons.com, the better.
How dangerous are browser hijackers
As soon as the hijacker installs, it will make changes to your browser. It can attach itself to all popular browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and change their settings. Setting changes include search.myonlinecoupons.com being set as the homepage/new tabs, and a different search engine. Once these changes have been implemented, you will be unable to undo them unless you first get rid of the hijacker.
Your new homepage looks like a typical browser hijacker website. It has links to popular services like Gmail, a search box, and shortcuts to coupons which are supposed to help you save money when shopping. If you were to use the search engine, you’s be shown questionable search results. Hijackers promote dubious search engines that insert sponsored sites into search results in order to redirect users, so avoid using them. Some of those sponsored sites could be dangerous and hide malware or promote scams. They’ll also have nothing to do with what you were searching for so you have no business visiting them.
Browser hijackers also collect information about how users browse. They track what sites users visit, what they search for, what ads they click on, their IP address, etc.
Overall, browser hijackers aren’t particularly dangerous because they don’t directly harm the computer. However, they make unwanted changes to browser’s settings and could potentially expose you to malicious sites.
Hijacker distribution methods
Like other minor infections, browser hijackers come attached to free programs. They are added as extra offers, which allow them to install alongside without requiring explicit permission. They are optional but because they are preselected to install alongside, most users end up unknowingly installing them. This is referred to as software bundling and is a popular installation method among unwanted program developers. Fortunately, you can easily prevent these unwanted installations, as long as you know how.
When you install a free program, it’s important that you pay attention to the process. That means reading the provided information instead of just clicking “Next”. It’s also important that you opt for Advanced (Custom) settings instead of Default. Advanced settings will make all extra offers visible, and you will be able to deselect all of them. Only after you have unchecked all the boxes of those offers should you continue installing the program.
This particular extension is available on browser stores but it’s highly doubtful that you stumbled upon it yourself. If, however, you did install it yourself, you should be more careful in the future. Otherwise, your computer will be filled with junk programs in no time.
We recommend you use anti-spyware software to delete search.myonlinecoupons.com, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience with uninstalling programs. Once the hijacker has been deleted, you will be able to change back your browser’s settings.