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Can I Turn Off Related Searches & Underlined Words?

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 2:37 pm

I have a slightly nagging issue with Firefox. Is there a way to turn off the Related Searches box at the side of the browser so I don't have to keep closing it every time I open the browser or new page? I read somewhere that certain sites make the option available, but I couldn't find how to turn it off.

The other thing I want to turn off is words being underlined and highlighted. They're both a little irritating to me. 8-[

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 2:46 pm

Neither of those is Firefox behavior. You have either installed a baddy, or your computer is infected with malware. Check your Addons Manager (Ctrl+Shift+A) and remove anything you didn't install, also check your Anti Virus software, Malwarebytes wouldn't be bad to check either. Some of this crap you have to remove via the Windows Add/Remove Programs thingy. For future notice, ALWAYS choose custom installation when installing new software, carefully read and opt out of the crapware. Also, if you've installed any software from CNet lately, they now imbed crap like this in their "installer".
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
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lithopsian
 
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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 2:53 pm

Underlined words are sometimes done by the websites themselves. This can be stopped in various ways by blockers such as Adblock or NoScript.

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 3:26 pm

Thanks patrickjdempsey! As per your instructions, I went into Add-ons > Extensions. I found the culprit, WebCake. I disabled and removed it and all is back to normal. I have no idea where it came from, (more than likely it was crapware from CNET as you suggested) but to my utter amazement, my security program flagged it for removal a few days ago from my system and I uninstalled it. How in the heck is it still functional after I uninstalled it? Utterly confused about that.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 3:38 pm

Obviously your security program didn't get rid of everything, and if your browser was running it may have been unable to remove it... always best to run security software with all browsers closed so they can do their thing.
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
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Vitesse
 
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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 3:49 pm

Wiggam72 wrote:Thanks patrickjdempsey! As per your instructions, I went into Add-ons > Extensions. I found the culprit, WebCake. I disabled and removed it and all is back to normal. I have no idea where it came from, (more than likely it was crapware from CNET as you suggested) but to my utter amazement, my security program flagged it for removal a few days ago from my system and I uninstalled it. How in the heck is it still functional after I uninstalled it? Utterly confused about that.

These things can be very pernicious and often reinstall themselves by leaving traces behind in your registry. Even if it seems to have gone, it's always worth running these two programs to clear up after them:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downloa ... oval-tool/

The reports those print out can be quite scary, because they find files and folders that you can't see! Junkware Removal Tool will also clear out unwanted preferences left behind in Firefox by uninstalled extensions.

Finally, run a scan with Malwarebytes:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downloa ... i-malware/

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted July 31st, 2013, 5:32 pm

patrickjdempsey wrote:Obviously your security program didn't get rid of everything, and if your browser was running it may have been unable to remove it... always best to run security software with all browsers closed so they can do their thing.


I did have the browser closed, however, obviously I did not disable and remove it from the browser beforehand. I just remembered that It was Windows Defender that flagged it and then I uninstalled it. It was not my anti-virus or firewall program that flagged or removed it. I had to use Windows to uninstall WebCake because it did not show in either Revo Uninstaller or CCleaner so that's probably why it was still active. Chances are that if I were able to use Revo or CCleaner it would have removed everything and the program would not have still been able to function.

Vitesse wrote:
Wiggam72 wrote:Thanks patrickjdempsey! As per your instructions, I went into Add-ons > Extensions. I found the culprit, WebCake. I disabled and removed it and all is back to normal. I have no idea where it came from, (more than likely it was crapware from CNET as you suggested) but to my utter amazement, my security program flagged it for removal a few days ago from my system and I uninstalled it. How in the heck is it still functional after I uninstalled it? Utterly confused about that.

These things can be very pernicious and often reinstall themselves by leaving traces behind in your registry. Even if it seems to have gone, it's always worth running these two programs to clear up after them:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downloa ... oval-tool/

The reports those print out can be quite scary, because they find files and folders that you can't see! Junkware Removal Tool will also clear out unwanted preferences left behind in Firefox by uninstalled extensions.

Finally, run a scan with Malwarebytes:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/downloa ... i-malware/


Thanks!! The first two programs seem to work well. They found and removed several items. I already have Malwarebytes installed, but haven't scanned with it for quite some time. I will do it later since it will take several hours. Many drives to scan.

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 6:02 am

Did the scan with Malwarebytes and it found and I had it remove 1 item identified as Ask Toolbar plus 4 others that appear to be related. They were all on the drive I use to backup my files.The offending files were only in the area where the backed up files are and not on the main drive or any of my other drives.

BTW, I do not have Ask Toolbar installed but remember a while back it got installed via crapware which I immediately removed. The installers nowadays are purposely getting extremely stealthy (particularly CNET ones) in the way they disguise the crapware even though the user chooses custom install as I always do.

I'm seriously considering sending CNET a complaint. In the past you could count on not getting crapware via a CNET DL, but now it has become a major problem.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 9:22 am

Just. Don't. Use. CNET. Ever.

Very rarely do they have some piece of software that no-one else has, and it's been a LONG LONG time since they were reputable and trustworthy. Times change, move on.
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
What my avatar is about: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/seamonkey/addon/sea-fox/

Wiggam72
 
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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 11:11 am

Unfortunately, almost all of the programs that I've installed routes to CNET after the DL link is clicked. Until now, I've always recommended people use CNET to prevent DL something from a rogue or hijacked site. I'll have to start recommending to people I know to stop using CNET and try to find another alternative.

The big problem with that is it's really hard nowadays to find a company/developer that has a DL from their own site without crapware and doesn't reroute elsewhere.

Do you happen to know of a site similar to CNET that hosts programs without crapware? There are a few that I've tried in the past (can't remember their names) that not only installs crapware, but malware (viruses, trojans, worms etc.), hence the reason I started using CNET, i.e. when they were crapware free.

Vitesse
 
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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 11:44 am

I'm not sure if it applies to all CNET pages, but it's worth looking just below the big green download button for a link which says "direct download link" - this gets you a version without the crapware.

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 5:17 pm

"Do you happen to know of a site similar to CNET that hosts programs without crapware?"

Go directly to the manufacturer/project page. There are a handful of projects that depend on sites like CNET for distribution, but almost all of them have their own direct download page. No, it's not very convenient, but safety rarely is.
Tip of the day: If it has "toolbar" in the name, it's crap.
What my avatar is about: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/seamonkey/addon/sea-fox/

JayhawksRock

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Post Posted August 3rd, 2013, 5:51 pm

The advice from patrickjdempsey is spot on... In addition check this list > http://www.techsupportalert.com/content ... -sites.htm
I have used the first two listed plus Nirsoft for utilities and have never had a problem... however I never blindly click away when installing anything.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" ~ Mick Jagger - Keith Richards ~ Rolling Stones 1968

Wiggam72
 
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Joined: July 30th, 2013, 9:05 am

Post Posted August 4th, 2013, 9:58 am

Vitesse, patrickjdempsey and JayhawksRock. Thanks guys! The info you've given is very helpful to me and others that read this thread. I'll pass it on to people I know. :D

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