Search Engines: Are There More Other Than Google?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Avigail David, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    3,813
    I know Bing is the favorite of @Ken Anderson but it is a true virus--once it gets onto your computer, you cannot get it off. It embeds itself into your other search programs. A frequent search topic on the net is "How do I get rid of Bing?". It has infested Firefox and I cannot get rid of it. It has done this before, but I have always been able to remove it. Not this time. It doesn't even appear on the program list, but it is everywhere.
     
    #46
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    16,376
    I'm sorry but that's nonsense. It's a search engine and most search engines will prompt you to make them your default search. All browsers have a simple way to change that, and it can usually be done simply be using another search engine that you'd rather have as your default and answering in the affirmation to its prompt.

    Actually, your problem might be that you are using a Microsoft OS. Given that Bing is a Microsoft search engine, Microsoft probably includes it as its default search engine and may have other ways to encourage its use. So yeah, perhaps it can be more problematic for those using Windows. When I get home, I'll start up my Windows machine and see if things are different with Windows.

    I will say, however, that although I am using a Mac, I can use whatever search engine or browser I want, and switch my choices whenever I want to.
     
    #47
  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    16,376
    After doing some research, I see that it's not exactly nonsense. I don't know that it's necessarily Bing that's doing it, however, and I doubt that it is. As I mentioned earlier, since Bing is a Microsoft product, Microsoft very likely has come up with ways to encourage its use on Windows machines.

    However, the bigger problem seems to be that there are malware programs that will install Bing as the default search engine on computers whose owners did not willingly choose to do so. I haven't yet found out why the malware is installing Bing as opposed to some other search engine, but my guess would be that the third-party malware creators are using these installations to earn Bing Reward points for themselves. Switching your search to Duck-Duck-Go or Yandex wouldn't give them a payoff.

    There are also apps that will install Bing on your iPhone or tablet, and they might include malware as well. When I use Bing on my iPhone or Kindle, I get even more points for my searches than I do on a computer, probably because they are encouraging people to use Bing. However, if I am going to do a search on Kindle or my iPhone, I do it from a browser.

    Bing Rewards can be cashed in for gift cards for Amazon and a bunch of other places. I earn quite a few Amazon gift cards just on what I do, so I would imagine that a malware creator could do quite well for himself if he had hundreds or thousands of other computers unwillingly earning points for him.

    That would also explain the difficulty in getting rid of it as your default. I haven't used Windows much lately but I don't remember it being particularly difficult to change my default search engine. However, if a separate malware program was responsible for making Bing the default search engine, simply switching it back to Google wouldn't solve the problem since the malware program would still be in place.

    I have a Mac, so I don't get viruses or malware.

    I doubt that Microsoft (Bing) is doing it, but it seems like it would be in their best interests to come a security system that doesn't allow it to happen, or at least a simple fix for it.

    This is the last day of my workweek so I have to get some work done but I'll see if I can figure something out this weekend.
     
    #48
  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    16,376
    My wife tells me that her Bing account has been suspended twice, requiring her to prove that it was actually her doing the searches. I haven't had to do that but, although we both work for the same directory, we work differently. She does all of her searches at once, and then writes the site descriptions and so on, while I do mine one at a time, so my searches are more spread out while hers are all at once. This might be because they are getting automated searches connected to a Bing Rewards account.
     
    #49
  5. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    3,813
    It isn't nonsense, @Ken Anderson. I finally got rid of it, but it took me several hours to do it. The folks on the net and in the communities all had solutions, but most of them didn't work as it is apparently masking itself in some way. It doesn't show up in any program lists, and when you search it from the command prompt, it often isn't there. I found it hidden in some Microsoft files and removed it, then I had to remove it from the two or three search engines as it kept making it the homepage even though it was supposedly removed from the engines and the computer. It has done this before, but it has never been this difficult to remove. I am guessing the programmers at MS are getting more devious since so many people are trying to avoid their engine. It seems to reinsert itself every time a search engine program updates.
     
    #50
  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
    Moderator Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    16,376
    I had acknowledged that in the post right after the one you are replying to, which I posted only a half hour later. I still think it's a third-party malware rather than Microsoft. It's not that I have any particular love for Microsoft but I can't imagine them risking the fallout that would come about if it were proven that they were producing malware.
     
    #51

Share This Page