What is Keep It Protected?
Keep It Protected is a browser extension offered by an unknown publisher named Search Tools along with other identical extensions such as Keep It Secure. The extension is currently compatible with Google Chrome, browsers running the Chromium framework, and other popular web browsers. The extension is available in the Google Web Store repository. Although the browser extension can be manually downloaded it is often promoted as something it is not and may perform actions that users find deceptive, unethical, and illegal.
The Keep It Protected extension is self-described as “the protected way to search the web.” The publisher claims that their extension optimizes Chrome’s default search settings with search engine results powered by Yahoo. It also claims that you can directly run searches from the Chrome search bar, a default feature of Chrome.
When a search is performed in the address bar, the user will be directed to keepitprotected.today and then to Yahoo. Keepitprotected.today acts as a website that intercepts the search term in order to gather information about the visitor, download malware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) on the visitor’s device, and perform other unknown and potentially severely dangerous tasks. In addition, the user publisher may generate revenue from advertisements and sponsored search content.
Does Keep It Protected work?
The Keep It Protected extension is fraudulently promoted as something it is not, “the protected way to search the web.” The browser extension for Google Chrome does not offer any protection and instead may violate a user’s privacy. When the extension is installed, web searches will redirects to third-party websites that they have no control over including Yahoo making their claims of protection entirely false.
The extension currently has 2 reviews and over 2,000 users in the Chrome Web Store which may indicate that the extension has been exposed to users by deceptive means or by force such as aggressive advertising campaigns. The reviews are likely fake as most identical extensions have 2 reviews each.
Is Keep It Protected safe?
No, the Keep It Protected extension for Google Chrome is not safe to use. While testing the extension for Google Chrome we found inconsistencies with the publisher’s description and actual procedures of the extension. In addition, the extension redirected the searches we performed to an interceptor website and then to Yahoo.com.
As mentioned the Keep It Protected website will redirect searches performed on a default search engine to an interceptor website before it redirects the search to Yahoo.com or another search engine. This is typically done to install data files and track users online once they reach the URL before they are redirected again.
Furthermore, the Keep It Protected extension provides a high privacy and security risk because it is often advertised in advertisements by malicious third-party advertising networks that are known to show ads for malware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and other serious security threats and it reads and changes private information. When the extension is installed it has permission to read your browsing history and read and change all your data on the websites you visit even when in incognito mode.
How to remove Keep It Protected
Follow these instructions to remove the Keep It Protected extension from Chrome:
- Open Chrome
- Go to Customize and control Google Chrome > More Tools > Extensions
- Find the Keep It Protected extension and click the Remove button
Although Keep It Protected is a browser extension that can be removed like other any other browser extension it is still promoted in advertisements by questionable third-party advertising networks that promote malware and potential threats and the extension is often promoted on websites that aren’t essentially permitted to use legitimate ad services like Google due to the content they contain such as malware, scams, copyrighted content, and torrents. Due to these factors, it is strongly advised to scan your computer or device for malware and potential threats that put your privacy at risk.
Follow these instructions to automatically remove malware with Malwarebytes. We recommend Malwarebytes as they have a free version, a free trial of the Premium version, and a Premium version that can all scan and remove malware. The only difference between the free versions and other others is that the free version is only a scan and removal tool while the others contain active protection that can stop malware in real and other security features that keep you protected online.
- Download the Malwarebytes setup file for the version you wish to use.
- Locate the setup file (MBSetup.exe) and open it to begin the installation process.
- Once Malwarebytes is installed click the Scan button.
- When finished, Malwarebytes will show a list of results including the detection names. Click the Quarantine button to remove all selected threats.
- Malwarebytes may require a system reboot. If so, restart your computer to complete the process.