What is the Search.Sweetim.com redirection virus?
The search.sweetim.com redirection virus is is a symptom of a involuntary or voluntary malware infection caused by the SweetIM Toolbar internet browser hijacker (sweetpacks.com) and other third party malware, viruses, and Trojans. The search.sweetim.com virus changes internet browser settings including the Home Page and Provided Search Engine causing internet browsers to show search.sweetim.com upon start up as their home page and internet searches and URLs typed into the browser address bar to redirect to search.sweetim.com, sweetpacks.com, associated websites, and/or third party websites.
If your internet browser settings have have been affected by search.sweetim.com without your consent you are most likely infected with malware and following proper removal steps to detect and remove any infection from your computer causing these issues should be accomplished immediately.
If issues concerning and causing redirections to search.sweetim.com are not removed from your computer you are at risk of being a victim of cyber crime involving credit theft, identity theft, extortion schemes, and other serious criminal activity. A search.sweetim.com may have bundled with third party malware, viruses, and/or Trojans and is capable of leaving a backdoor open for more serious infections or causing a computer system to lose complete funtionality.
Why are internet searches and URLs redirecting to Search.sweetim.com?
If your internet browser’s provided search engine has changed to search.sweetim.com or other websites without your consent, causing redirections, you are most likely infected with malware, viruses, and/or Trojans. Search.sweetim.com hijacks internet settings causing internet searches and URLs typed into the browser address bar to redirect to search.sweetim.com and/or other websites.
If your browser’s home page has changed to search.sweetim.com or other websites without your consent you are most likely infected with malware, viruses, and/or Trojans. Search.sweetim.com and third party malware can hijack internet settings causing home pages to direct to search.sweetim.com upon start up. This is often the first sign of a computer infection or exploit.
This infection may have been contracted from visiting a malicious site hosting malware, drive by download sites, and other cyber criminal phishing techniques such as spam mail and remote access involving rogue software.
What is the SweetIM Toolbar?
The SweetIM Toolbar is a browser helper object developed by Sweetpacks.com, used in conjuction with Search.SweetIM.com, and other URLs. Sweetpacks.com claims the SweetIM Toolbar is not adware, nor spyware.
The SweetIM Toolbar also claims you can add emoticons & other stuff to various web mails and social networks, including Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Gmail, AIM mail etc, forums, blogs and more. In addition they also claim you can search the web using the search box on the left of the toolbar or in your browser’s address bar.
Are SweetIM Toolbar, Search.SweetIM.com, and Sweetpacks.com safe?
Yes and essentially NO. The toolbar SweetIM and websites Search.SweetIM.com and Sweetpacks.com are relatively safe to use though they can easily invade your privacy and display unwanted search results and promote clicking advertisements which may install unwanted adware and spyware or help Sweetpacks.com gain revenue through tricky CPC techniques.
If the SweetIM Toolbar and associated websites have affected your system without consent, your are most likely infected with malware, viruses, and or Trojans. These infections are very dangerous and can cause a computer to lose all functioning capabilities and can leave the computer user vulnerable to third party infections and cyber criminal activity involving identity theft, credit theft, and other serious matters.
1. Anti-Malware Software (Remove Malware)
Malwarebytes is the most recommended Antivirus – Anti-Malware software used to scan, detect, and remove malware including browser hijackers. View other Antivirus recommendations. Once removed, proceed to repair your Home Page and Provided Search Engines.
2. System Restore (Troubleshoot Malware)
Perform a system restore to an automatic restore point created by Window’s each week or during system updates. Once complete, proceed to repair your Home Page and Provided Search Engines.
3. Remove SweetIM Toolbar (Remove Browser Helper Objects)
In many cases the involuntary and voluntary installment of the SweetIM Toolbar add-on extension is what assists in changing Home Page and Provided Search Engine. If the BHO is present, follow the instructions below to remove the SweetIM Toolbar, afterwards check if your browser settings (home page/start up, redirection) are back to normal.
First it is suggested to make sure SweetIM has not installed an app or client on your system. If this is the case this step must be performed before removing the SweetIM extension from internet browsers and repairing provided search engines. Please note, it is not likely that SweetIM installed an application on your computer, this is only a precaution due to similar hijackers such as Mysearchresults.com.
1. From Window’s Start Menu select Control Panel
2. Click on Uninstall a Program or Add and remove programs
3. Find and select SweetIM Toolbar or other suspicious programs from the list.
4. Double click SweetIM, etc. and follow the prompted windows to finish uninstalling the software. You can also highlight SweetIM, etc. and click Uninstall or right click the program and select Uninstall.
1. Click on the wrench or 3 bar icon at the top right of your Chrome browser
2. Select Tools and click Extensions
3. From the list of installed Extensions, find SweetIM Toolbar and any suspicious Toolbars affecting your system and click the trash can next to their description to remove them.
4. Close your browser completely and reopen it. The SweetIM Toolbar extension should be removed from your Chrome browser.
1. Select Tools on the browser menu and select Add-ons from the dropdown menu. If the menu bar is hidden, click on the orange “Firefox” button at the top left of your browser and select “Add-ons” from the menu.
2. If not already there, click on “Extensions” located on the left margin of the page.
3. Find SweetIM Toolbar from the list of extensions and click the “Remove” button located next to it.
4. Restart Firefox.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. On the top menu click Tools and select Manage add-ons
2. Under the Toolbars and Extensions tab find SweetIM Toolbar and any suspicious extension disable and remove them.
1. At the top of your browser select Safari from the menu bar.
2. Select Preferences from the dropdown menu.
3. Click on the Extensions tab.
4. Highlight the SweetIM Toolbar extension (etc) and click the Uninstall button.
4. Repair Home Page
To remove search.sweetim.com as your Home Page follow the instructions per each browser installed on your system.
1. Click Tools and select Options.
2. On the General tab, click Restore to Default or add you preferred URL.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Internet Options.
2. On the General tab click Restore to Default or add your preferred URL.
1. Click on the Wrench or 3 bar icon next to the address bar and select Settings.
2. Under the On startup section click Set pages.
3. Click the X next to search.sweetim.com to remove it and add your preferred home page URL.
5. Repair Provided Search Engines
Use the instructions below to remove search.sweetim.com (etc) as your provided search engine for each internet browser installed on your system. This is what generally causes redirection search.sweetim.com and associated websites. Before your proceed make sure you have checked for any add-ons and extensions which may have infected your system, such as the SweetIM Toolbar add-on.
1. Click the 3 bar or wrench settings icon and select Settings.
2. In the Search section select the Manage search engines… button.
3. Remove search.sweetim.com and/or related search engines by selecting the X next to the URL upon clicking on and highlighting the website(s). If search.sweetim.comis set to the default search engine, chose another search engine such as Google as your default engine by highlighting details and clicking “make default” in a transparent blue box next to the legitimate engine. This will allow you to remove the malicious search.sweetim.com search engine.
1. Click the small search arrow or magnify glass near the search bar at the top of the internet browser.
2. Select Manage search engines…
3. Highlight search.sweetim.com and/or related search engines and click remove. The search engine may be a default search engine or listed under “Other search engines”.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. Navigate to the Search Providers list.
3. Search for search.sweetim.com and/or related search engines and click the Remove button.