What is Shield Defense?
Shield Defense is a browser extension owned by GreenSearchSecurity. The extension claims to be “the best tool to browse the Internet safely.” The extension is promoted as a free tool that blocks malware and tracking on the websites you visit. The extension appears to be safe to use and legitimate; However, many malware research teams and websites suggest that the Shield Defense extension is malicious because it will change your home page and search setting to its own website and search engine (shielddefense.net). Searches performed on the website will then redirect to search.yahoo.com which is odd for a browser security utility that claims to restrict tracking.
The Shield Defense extension has options that can allow you to block phishing websites and warn you of malicious websites, show Alexa ranking of websites (how popular they are), enable phishing detection on the 3 major search engines, and block tracking from social networks, advertisements, web analytics, sponsors, and more. The Shield Defense extension will actually block advertisements and pop-ups on the websites you visit. The features can be manually turned off on the options page.
It is unknown how the Shield Defense extension is able to identify phishing websites and potentially malicious websites. The extension does not seem to be partnered with a reputation management system. I personally visited known phishing websites and the extension did not block access to them. I also visited safe websites listed by deceptive (but popular) reputation management systems as malicious and the extension did not block access to them.
A concern about the Shield Defense extension is that it does not provide much realistic detail about itself on its website, the information it collects, what the information is used for, and how they are able to function. There is no contact page or form for the company that owns the extension on the extension’s website; However, you can find an email address if you read through their policy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
An issue with the Shield Defense extension is that it changes your existing internet browser settings once installed. It changes your default search engine in particular. The search engine cannot be changed again unless you disable or remove the Shield Defense extension. The extension basically “hijacks” your search engine.
Shield Defense collects your tracking information
Another concern about the Shield Defense extension is that it claims to block you from tracking such as web analytics, advertising networks, and more but the extension itself actually collects the same information that web analytics and advertising networks do. The Shield Defense extension will collect your IP address, browser, and other information the same way third-party tracking tools do.
As previously mentioned, the Shield Defense extension will also change your homepage and search engine to shielddefense.net – and then redirect you to search.yahoo.com. Yahoo.com will collect tracking information about you. Browser extensions like this usually generate revenue by utilizing Yahoo.com Search Engine. The extensions will generate revenue from sponsored search content, information collected about you, and advertisements on Yahoo.
In conclusion concerning your tracking information, although the Shield Defense extension claims to be a tool to block tracking it actually tracks you and directs you to websites that track you for their own benefit.
How to remove Shield Defense
This Shield Defense removal guide will help you remove Shield Defense extension, viruses, malware, and other threats and extensions from your browser or PC. Follow each step below to remove this infection and protect yourself, friends, and your family from cyber criminals.
- Step 1: Remove Shield Defense extension
- Step 2: Remove malware with Malwarebytes Anti-malware
- Step 3: Check your computer for malicious trace files with HitmanPro
- Step 4: Clean up and fix system issues with CCleaner
- Step 5: Manually repair browser settings (Optional)
1. Remove Shield Defense extension
1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon and go to More tools > Extensions.
2. Click the trashcan icon next to the Shield Defense extension to remove it.
1. Open the Menu and click Add-ons.
2. Click Remove next to the Shield Defense add-on to remove it.
1. Go to Tools (Alt+X) and click Manage add-ons.
2. Select the Shield Defense add-on with your mouse and click Remove.
1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
2. Click the Uninstall button next to the Shield Defense extension to remove it.
2. Remove malware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Open your browser window and download Malwarebytes 3.0 Premium or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
- Open the executable file (mb3-setup.exe) to begin installing Malwarebytes.
- Select your language, click Next, then select “I accept the agreement,” click the Next button several times, and then click the Install button to install Malwarebytes. Click Finish once the install process is complete.
- Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button on the Dashboard to begin scanning your computer.
- Click the Quarantine Selected button once the scan is finished.
- If Malwarebytes says “All selected items have been removed successfully. A log file has been saved to the logs folder. Your computer needs to be restarted to complete the removal process. Would you like to restart now?” click the Yes button to restart your computer.
3. Check your computer for malicious trace files with HitmanPro
- Open your browser window and download HitmanPro.
- Open the executable file (hitmanpro_x64.exe or hitmanpro_x32.exe) to begin installing HitmanPro.
- Click the Next button, check “I accept the terms of the license agreement,” and click the Next button again.
- On the Setup page select “Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended)” and add your email address to the registration fields to begin the free trial.
- Click Next to begin scanning your computer.
- Once the Scan results are displayed click the Next button and click the Next button again on the Removal results page.
4. Clean up and fix system issues with CCleaner
- Open your browser window and download CCleaner Professional or CCleaner Free.
- Open the executable file (ccsetup.exe or other) to begin installing CCleaner.
- Click the Install button to begin stalling the program.
- Click Run CCleaner to open the program when installation is complete.
- Select the Cleaner tab and click the Analyze button.
- When the Analyze process is complete click the Run Cleaner button to clean all files.
- Next, select the Registry tab and click the Scan for Issues button to scan for issues in your registry.
- When the scan is complete click the Fix selected Issues button and Fix All Selected Issues button to fix the issues.
- Next, select the Tools tab and click Startup. Examine each area, search for suspicious entries, and delete any suspicious startup entries by selecting the entry and clicking the Delete button.
- Next, click Browser Plugins and search each internet browser for unwanted browser add-ons and extensions. Click the extension you want to delete and click the Delete button to remove it.