Weknow.ac – web search engine that collects your data

Safe-looking search engine promotes installation of rogue data tracking tools

Browser hijacker Weknow.ac is already known as a persistent cyber intruder because it is especially difficult to remove from the device. Developers of this potentially unwanted program change various features of the infection to make it more undetectable. Anti-virus tools have difficulty in indicating this website as potentially unwanted or malicious in any way. People have many issues with this program because of the intrusive activity. Pop-up advertisements, redirects, and other commercial content are indicators that you have this intruder, but this is not the main problem.

Constantly appearing advertisements in the form of banners, pop-up windows promote questionable anti-spyware or optimization tools which are useless and also behaves intrusively. The main search engine and all additional tools have this frustrating privacy issue- collects various data about the user. This information can be anything from search queries, most visited sites or searched items to more personal data like IP addresses, location or even social media activity and preferences.

The danger behind a silent information gathering

Data regarding your browser history seems not so important but when this information is collected there is a huge possibility that your web browsing activity preferences are shared with third-parties. When searching online using the website or hijacked search engine you are redirected to various other sites. However, on the main website, you can find a Privacy Policy section. In part about data sharing the developers state:

Cookies and Other Technologies. We may collect or allow third parties to collect, through blocks of code called “pixels” or “web beacons”, certain information about you and send it to our servers and to our partners. We or our partners, package all or part of this information into small text files called Cookies and send the Cookie to your computer. As an example, Cookies may store search queries made through the Software & Services, the web pages you accessed, your interaction with advertisements presented to you via the Software & Services, features you used, your session duration and your configurations and preferences of the Software & Services.

When this information is shared with advertisers, it means that more ads come up on your screen and this commercial content is based on your most searched items or websites. This ensures the developer that you are more willing to click on the pop-up window and your clicks generates revenue for the publisher.

Software bundling spreads various applications

The main distribution method used for potentially unwanted programs and applications is product bundling. Freeware providers and different PUP developers pack their products together and when you are not paying attention additional tools or programs gets on your device. If you are not noticing those toolbars, extensions or optimization tools before the freeware installation, you are accepting them to your system.

You can remove checkmarks from the boxes when you choose Advanced or Custom options during the installation process. This step ensures that you are installing the software or applications you intended to in the first place.

However, if you already got the silent intruder like this Weknow.ac browser hijacker you have an only solution – anti-malware tools. This removal method allows you to scan the system thoroughly and get rid of the potential threats, additional programs, and other malicious files causing cyber attacks.