PackageTracer Removal

What is PackageTracer

PackageTracer is a browser extension that promises a useful function but makes changes beyond what is needed for it to deliver. PackageTracer offers to make it easy to track shipments, but it goes ahead and changes the search engine, tracks private information, and tries to install additional privacy-beaching extensions.

PackageTracer is not a computer virus, but it can be considered potentially unwanted software (PUP) and a browser hijacker, and thus an example of mild malware.

PackageTracer Removal

The problems with PackageTracer

Shady distribution method

PackageTracer has been promoted using software bundling, that is, it’s been included as an optional (or hidden, if the bundle is implemented dishonestly) application with another program. Bundling is not seen as a good thing, or as something that trustworthy software vendors do. Software bundling is combining promoted applications with the installation of the desired software. Even when the promotional software is benign, it’s seen as a breach of trust between the client and the vendor. A lot of people rush through installation or do not mess with the custom settings, which is how they might end up unwittingly installing unwanted programs. This is actually known as one of the main ways that malware can be installed.

Download Removal Toolto remove PackageTracer

So, the fact that PackageTracer itself bundles Search Extension by Ask with is cause for suspicion. Even without the optional Ask extension, PackageTracer is associated with, among other websites — you can see this in the extension’s permissions as declared to Chrome.

Privacy breaching and advertising

This extension, PackageTracer, requires permission to read people’s browsing history and PackageTracer’s developers use that and other information that they manage to collect (location, gender, language, hardware and software, and the exact queries that were typed into their search box) for superior targeted advertising. PackageTracer places a search bar in the middle of the new tab page that leads to a search engine which earns revenue for displaying ads to visitors. This is mentioned in the description of the extension as “The PackageTracerâ„¢ extension also offers convenient web searchâ€. A lot of people felt like this was not enough warning to know that PackageTracer would have their search settings changed so drastically.

The overabundance of ads in PackageTracer’s search engine (MyWay, substantially hurts the browsing experience. Not only does PackageTracer shove a multitude of ads on top of actual search results any time when the query can possibly be interpreted as wanting to buy something, but even simple questions have at least one ad on top, adding small frustrations to trying to find relevant information. Not just distracting — ads can even be malicious. Professional, good quality ad networks are able to recognize malicious ads and remove them, but even they sometimes have a few slip through. The poorer quality (or the more greedy) the ad network is, the more likely they are to serve malicious ads to regular internet users. Examples of dangerous ads include phishing sites, scams and pyramid schemes, or even malware-hosting pages.

Download Removal Toolto remove PackageTracer

As for privacy, PackageTracer’s privacy policy seems to say that users’ online profile (the information that has been collected about them, but that technically isn’t associated with their legal identity) can be shared with third parties, which also puts your online security at slight risk: the more information is known about you, and the more people have it, the more likely it is to be leaked. In the worst case, cybercriminals could use it for targeted phishing attacks.

Poor quality product

From PackageTracer’s description: Mindspark Interactive Network, the company which developed PackageTracer, has a portfolio bursting with clones that all look and function the same:

A search bar in the middle — it leads to a search engine which injects ads into results, A toolbar at the top, which has a few links to professional websites that fit the theme of the extension, Sometimes — an online tool or more links below the search bar.

You can look at FreeShoppingTool, EverydayMemo, FreePDFCombiner, or almost any other Mindspark product. Very few have any real, specifically developed features, and even they monetize people’s searching for information.

How to remove PackageTracer

PackageTracer can be removed by going into your browser settings. The extension shouldn’t be able to reinstall itself, but if it happens that it keeps coming back, then another program must be infecting your computer. It would be causing other problems, too, like excessive pop-up ads and redirects when using the browser. If you are experiencing this, you can scan your computer to check if any malware is found. Use a professional antivirus program, for example, Anti-Malware Tool, Anti-Malware Tool, Combo-Cleaner, or another one that you trust. If there is any malware found, you can uninstall it manually, or let the antivirus do it.

Stage 1: Delete Browser Extension

First of all, we would recommend that you check your browser extensions and remove any that are linked to PackageTracer. A lot of adware and other unwanted programs use browser extensions in order to hijacker internet applications.

Remove PackageTracer Extension from Google Chrome

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. In the address bar, type: chrome://extensions/ and press Enter.
  3. Look for PackageTracer or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.

Uninstall PackageTracer Extension from Firefox

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox.
  2. In the address bar, type: about:addons and press Enter.
  3. From the menu on the left, choose Extensions.
  4. Look for PackageTracer or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.

Delete PackageTracer Extension from Safari

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Press on the Safari Settings icon, which you can find in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select Preferences from the list.
  4. Choose the Extensions tab.
  5. Look for PackageTracer or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Uninstall’.
  6. Additionally, open Safari Settings again and choose Downloads.
  7. If PackageTracer.safariextz appears on the list, select it and press ‘Clear’.

Remove PackageTracer Add-ons from Internet Explorer

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. From the menu at the top, select Tools and then press Manage add-ons.
  3. Look for PackageTracer or anything related to it, and once you find it, press ‘Remove’.
  4. Reopen Internet Explorer.In the unlikely scenario that PackageTracer is still on your browser, follow the additional instructions below.
  5. Press Windows Key + R, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter
  6. The Program and Features window will open where you should be able to find the PackageTracer program.
  7. Select PackageTracer or any other recently installed unwanted entry and press ‘Uninstall/Change’.

Alternative method to clear the browser from PackageTracer

There may be cases when adware or PUPs cannot be removed by simply deleting extensions or codes. In those situations, it is necessary to reset the browser to default configuration. In you notice that even after getting rid of weird extensions the infection is still present, follow the below instructions.

Use Chrome Clean Up Tool to Delete PackageTracer

  1. Launch Google Chrome.
  2. In the address box, type: chrome://settings/ and press Enter.
  3. Expand Advanced settings, which you can find by scrolling down.
  4. Scroll down until you see Reset and Cleanup.
  5. Press on Clean up computer. Then press Find.
Download Removal Toolto remove PackageTracer

This Google Chrome feature is supposed to clear the computer of any harmful software. If it does not detect PackageTracer, go back to the Clean up computer and reset settings.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

If you still find PackageTracer in your Mozilla Firefox browser, you should be able to get rid of it by restoring your Firefox settings to default. While extensions and plug-ins will be deleted, this will not touch your browser history, bookmarks, saved passwords or Internet cookies.

  1. Launch Mozilla Firefox
  2. Into the address box, type: about:support and press Enter.
  3. You will be redirected to a Troubleshooting Information page.
  4. From the menu on the right side, select Refresh Firefox.
  5. Confirm your choice by clicking Refresh Firefox in the new window.
  6. Your browser will close automatically in order to successfully restore the settings.
  7. Press Finish.

Reset Safari Browser to Normal Settings

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Press on the Safari Settings icon, which you can find in the upper-right corner.
  3. Press Reset Safari.
  4. A new window will appear. Select the boxes of what you want to reset or use the screenshot below to guide you. Once you have selected everything, press ‘Reset’.
  5. Restart Safari.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. From the top menu, press on Tools and then Internet Options.
  3. In the new window that opens, choose the Advanced tab.
  4. At the bottom of the window, below Reset Internet settings, there will be a ‘Reset’ button. Press that.

While extensions and plug-ins will be deleted, this will not touch your browser history, bookmarks, saved passwords or Internet cookies.

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