SmartBar Hijacker

smartbarSmartBar is a toolbar that was created by CreativeToolbars, based in Spain. As the company lists in its webpage, this is the first but not the last application they offer. SmartBar is the Media Toolbar that offers a search function, Facebook and Twitter widgets, embedded Radio Player, access to online games, various deals, offers and coupons from the web. It is free of charge. If you read EULA before downloading it and are aware of all the changes it makes, you should not be annoyed by having the toolbar. Alas, only a few computer users get SmartBar intentionally.

Adware and browser hijackers like this piece of software are often distributed using bundling method. It means that one gets unwanted application installed together with freeware of shareware. It is a legal way of distribution because the toolbar was listed in the installation wizard. The problem is that it was marked to be installed by default and many do not pay attention to the text when choosing an automatic installation. Moreover, some of the companies, in order to increase the number of victims write installation texts in other languages than English. Once you download SmartBar, you automatically agree with the changes listed in EULA:

When you download, install or use any component of the SOFTWARE, you acknowledge and agree that:
the homepage, accessible at search.creativetoolbars.com, will be your default internet browser homepage as a result of such action;
BECHIRO SL may modify your search properties during your use of the SOFTWARE;
BECHIRO SL will serve advertisements to you as part of your use of the SOFTWARE.

By having CreativeToolbars SmartBar, you will start getting pop-up advertisements while browsing the Internet. Your home page, New Tab page and default search engine will be replaced with search.creativetoolbars.com. Although this search page looks like any other page and uses a customized Google search engine, the results it provides are completely different. The company behind the toolbar earns money from advertisements and traffic generated to promoted sites therefore whenever you make a search inquiry, you will get advertised sites among results. The problem is that a computer user can not distinguish between the true results and the ones advertised. This way one gets tricked to click on the link she did not actually need. Moreover, some of the links might lead to malicious websites and infect computer with viruses.

While CreativeToolbars SmartBar is not a malware itself, it is highly recommended to remove it, especially if it was installed without a clear computer user‘s consent. If you do not see it in Control Panel Add and Remove Programs and can not remove manually, you should use special antivirus tools and instructions for SmartBar removal. Very often more than one unwanted program is installed therefore scanning PC with a special tool is a wise decision. Before choosing antivirus, make sure it can detect this type of problem because not all of computer protection tools have such a feature.

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