When I start to dig, they actually mean their web browsing is slow. In most of these cases, I am finding that the browser has been hijacked by Conduit Search.
What the heck is Conduit Search, and how did it get on my computer, asks the customer. Conduit Search is what we call a Browser Hijacker. Once on your system, it changes your browser home page to search.conduit.com. It displays ads on your pages and sometimes tracks your browsing sessions. It is used to increase advertising revenue, and skews the search rankings for various sites.
I would not technically consider Conduit Search a virus, but it is a pain in the backside, slows your computer down, and tracks what you are searching on the internet.
How did it get on your system? Simple, it is bundled into other software downloads and installs on your system as an add-on piece of software. You are always given the chance to opt out of the install.
You should always pay very close attention to every screen that appears when you install software. I guarantee that you will see a screen letting you know that it will install additional software. Additionally, on that screen, it will list the software, along with a check box that you can clear to opt out of the installation.
The next question I am asked, is why the antivirus software did not catch this software and protect me from this? Well, as Conduit Search is not really a virus, your antivirus software is not going to prevent it from being installed. After all, you did approve the installation.
When it comes to computers, vigilance and awareness are the keywords you need to keep at the top of your mind. Yes, those games you install are a lot of fun. But they can also pack a punch in the form of the Conduit Search.
How do you remove it? It is a three step process.
1. Go into your programs list, accessed from the Control Panel, and uninstall the software. It can be listed as Conduit Search, or sometimes it is listed as Search by Conduit. Make sure you uninstall anything published by Conduit.
2. Remove it from your browser. for Internet Explorer, you would click on Tools, Internet Options. Click on the Advanced Tab, and then click on Reset. Make sure you check the box to delete personal settings, and then click on Reset. This will reset Internet Explorer back to factory defaults and remove Conduit. To reset Firefox, click on Help, then Troubleshooting Information, then click on Reset Firefox. For Chrome, click the Chrome menu (horizontal bars at top right), then click Tools and Extensions. Remove the Conduit extension from the list, and any other unknown extensions.
3. Clean the registry. Go to www.piriform.com and download the free version of Ccleaner. Remember to opt out of any other software it wants to install. Click on the registry button and click Scan for Issues. Remove whatever it finds, but say yes to making a backup of the changes first. Accept the defaults for the file name and location. Clean the registry again, and again, until it finds nothing. Cleaning the registry is not for the faint of heart. If you are not comfortable doing this, we are happy to do it for you.
As always, if you need assistance, you can contact us.