Bing - Who said I want Bing!
I am not a fan of being tracked on the Internet. I view Google as a necessary evil and I try to limit my exposure to some degree. I do have a gmail account—but it’s not my every day account. I alternate my search engine of choice between Google and Duck Duck Go. I do use Facebook and Twitter, but I try not to expose too much. I have a web site. I try to keep Flash turned off and I don’t use Adobe Reader.
Somehow Bing keeps cropping up. Check this out:
I have entered a search for iPad Cases into the address bar/search bar of Safari. Clearly it show that the search is to be performed in Google. But, check out the results:
How in the heck did my search results end up in Bing? Clearly, something has gone wrong. This is the second time in two weeks that my Safari searches have been hijacked to Bing.
Last time I did some searching and I found a software to remove adware. It worked, but it didn’t help me find the culprit. I want the pleasure of knowing the source of my pain and I want to nuke it myself!
Just a week ago I spent two days backing up everything, re-formatting my hard drive, reinstalling the OS and all my applications from the Apple App Store or from new copies directly from the developer and then carefully choosing which settings and files to to copy from my backup.
At the end of the process this computer was humming! It was performing as I expect it to. I had won! So what is this Bing thing?
I have two hobbies that cause me to download files, lots of files from the Internet. These are design files, fonts and pdf files used with my Silhouette Cameo and my Brother embroidery machine. I am pretty darn careful—but somehow, something has gone wrong once again!
My earlier research made me consider that a Safari Browser Extension could be the culprit.
I do use FlashToHTML5, and it has proven to be safe and effective. The same is true of ClickToPlugin, iPassword, and Pin It Button. You can see that I also have a few extension that are in place, but turned off.
Omnibar is one that I do not remember installing, so it made me suspicious. Since there was a button to change search engines, I chose the “Default” button, closed the Safari Preferences and tried another search.
That didn’t fix the problem so I did some research (and that darn Bing came up again).
Reading the InstallMac Web site was less that encouraging:
Who can use the InstallMac product?InstallMac was built for Mac developers interested in generating additional revenue from their applications and for advertisers looking to distribute their Mac application.Is InstallMac a virus, Malware, Spyware or in any way harmful to my computer?Absolutely not!InstallMac is a software distribution platform, and as such we make every effort possible to ensure that no such programs are being installed on your computer. More so, we strongly encourage our users to report any such attempts to misuse InstallMac.
Tell me that doesn’t raise you suspicions! I don’t know what application installed this plugin, but I am not a fan! I clicked the “Uninstall” button, quit Safari, restarted it and tried a search. Success!
I still don’t know where Omnibar came from. I will certainly be on the lookout for anything from InstallMac and I will frequently check to make sure it’s not installed.
Are there weird things happening on your computer? If you can’t figure them out, give us a call at Doctor Mac Consulting, (408) 627-7577. We can help you fix the problem and our rates are reasonable.