StartWidget is categorized as a browser hijacker. It means that this program will modify your browser’s settings for financial gains. The modification will occur without your permission, and while a browser hijacker cannot steal your personal information and directly infect you with malware, it is still a security threat that has to be reckoned with. Please remove StartWidget from your system immediately, to ensure that your system remains safe and secure. Should you encounter any problem while trying to get rid of potential security threats, please do not hesitate to contact us by leaving a comment in the box below.
It is sometimes hard to identify a potential security threat because they do all they can to present themselves as legitimate applications. The same could be said about StartWidget, too. This program has an official website via starwidget.com. If you were to open the site, you would see that this program is promoted as a useful extension that can let you “turn your browser into social & media center.” Supposedly, with this program you can “enjoy enhanced search experience, get links to watch episode legally from your PC,” and use many other features offered by the program. What’s more, you can find StartWidget on the Chrome Web Store, too, so in a sense it is impossible to call this application a malicious infection.
Nevertheless, we have seen similar applications before and we know that they modify the search engine and new tab settings. In fact, all programs from the Imali Media group do that. In that way, StartWidget is similar to Search.realcoolmovies.com, Search.searchinsocial.com, and Search.emaildefendsearch.com. In a way, it is a good thing that these similar programs have already been discussed before. It means that we know how to deal with StartWidget, and we know the best way to remove it. On the other hand, the fact such programs continuously emerge out in the open shows that the developers will not give up.
Of course, the main reason for spawning these programs is money. Even if StartWidget and other similar applications can provide you with the advertised features, they still arrive with ulterior motive in mind. These programs promote third-party content with the intention to make money, and you actually help them do that each time you interact with that content. In a sense, it is a rather smart scheme, and there is nothing illegal about it. However, there are a lot of security loopholes associated with such applications, and they can be easily exploited by cyber criminals.
For example, StartWidget may display modified search results via the customized version of Yahoo! Search engine. Those results will be in one way or the other related to your most common search keywords because the program will monitor your online activity. What’s more, the search results will mostly be of commercial nature, embedded there by third parties. Most of those third parties cannot be trusted because there is no way to check whether they are reliable or not.
Hence, each time you interact with the content delivered by StartWidget, you risk potential exposure to malicious content. In the worst case, you could get infected with malware, too. Hence, the sooner you remove this browser hijacker from your PC, the better.
After manual removal, do not forget to restart your browser. Should your search engine settings remain hijacked, you can also try resetting your browser settings to default. The fastest way to clean your browser would be using an automated antispyware tool.