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Safe Finder, Safari problems

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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georgeandjolie
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Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by georgeandjolie » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:52 am

I usually use Safari as my browser. This helps keep my searches and favorites somewhat separate from my husband's, as we share a computer. A few months ago, "Safe Finder" appeared unexpectedly when I opened Safari. I googled it to see if it was risky to use, and, due to my very low techno-ability, had difficulty understanding what I was reading. I could not really tell if it posed any danger and the method of removing it seemed like a major undertaking, clearing all history from Safari and Chrome, which would have interfered with my husband's use also. So I just overrode the Safe Finder screen by activating the familiar "favorites" icon in the upper left corner of my screen (the 3x4 dot-array located directly underneath the red exit circle). This worked for a time, but soon, Safe Finder would not allow my old favorites panes to display for more than 1/4 second. Finally, I have quit using Safari, as any attempt to conduct a search is nearly futile, with long delays. Now I have been using Chrome along with my husband, which is fine, but I miss the convenience of having saved log-ins and passwords of my own. Also, I am worried about what exactly is going on with our computer and am curious if there is a real problem. Does anyone have ideas that can help?

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:12 am

Here's what I learned with some googling and reading:

Safe Finder is yet another adware installer.
It seems that many people suggest Malwarebytes https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/, which is free for an uninstall of adware, and $40 for a continuous scanning version. Caveat: I have no personal experience with Malwarebytes.

I didn't find a source for a completely manual solution. Maybe another SMUG member will know about that.

Safe Finder resets your Homepage in Safari > Preferences > General, and you need to fix that manually. Then run Malwarebytes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The most important thing is to never allow anything to install on your Mac unless you know absolutely what it is and where it came from. And make sure you have Safari > Preferences > Security > Fraudulent sites warning checked.
No warning that pops up unexpectedly while you're using the internet is real.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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georgeandjolie
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by georgeandjolie » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:20 am

Thank you, Stephen. I will be working on this. Your warning not to allow anything to install reminds me to pay attention to everything I do and not to rush through something that may not be ok. I guess that with our iMac, if software needs to be updated, it will be either accomplished automatically or the "Update" notification window will pop up, right? I appreciate your answer and effort regarding my question. ~ Jolie Will

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georgeandjolie
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by georgeandjolie » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:08 pm

When I opened Safari>Preferences>Security>Fraudulent Sites, the fraudulent sites was checked. However, there was a yellow warning triangle (exclamation mark in center) below it that said, "The Safe Browsing Service is unavailable. No updates have occurred in 21 days." It feels like I'd better figure out what is happening. The quest goes on...

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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Ray Bentsen » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:11 pm

An old Norse adage: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:19 am

As to app updates, it's best to rely on the App Store. Any software you installed from the App Store will update through the App Store only, and you can be 99 44/100% sure that's safe. At least I haven't heard of an app update from the App Store that was fraudulent. Of course, any app update could have a bug.

There are a few apps that don't come through the app store. If you're sure what they are and that they're reliable, you can install them and update them as usual. And some apps do self updates. Again, you need to know for sure what the app is and where it's from. In cases like this, I always check to see if it's available on the App Store.

There may be some exceptions, but I'd say that anything that pops up when you're using the internet can be assumed to be fraudulent unless proven otherwise. If the popup says you need to "clean" your Mac or install something, it's definitely fraudulent.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Bob Wiswell » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:23 pm

I just checked my Safari preferences>security>fraudulent sites and I also have the yellow warning triangle and it say,s "The Google Safe Browsing Service is unavailable. No updates have occurred in 88 days."

Why do I have the warning? I have never seen anything pop up about Safe Finder on my computer or any of my browsers. I mostly use Firefox and/or Safari.

Ray, is that site about downloading the system to eradicate Safe Finder legitimate? It looks like one of those sites you don't want to click on.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:03 pm

What macOS and Safari version are you using?
I don't see any such message in 10.13.5 and Safari 11.1.1.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:05 am

A timely article from the New York Times Tech Section:
Battling Adware That Redirects Your Browser
Wirecutter, a product review site owned by The New York Times, recommends the Malwarebytes program for both Windows and Mac computers; a free trial is available.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Safe Finder, Safari problems

Post by Bob Wiswell » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:01 am

Stephen,
You may have answered why I have the warning; I am using an old-old system. I use Snow Leopard, 10.6.8 and Safari version 5.1.10. My old computers just keep working and I am maxed out on what versions I can use. The fact that it says it hasn't updated in 88 days, to me says, Google just recently stopped supporting this old Safari. I do sort of remember that I did see a message to that effect sometime back. I had just forgotten about it.

I have not seen this type of message for Firefox and that is the browser that I use the most. This is because a lot of sites seem to like it better than my old Safari browser.

Thanks for jogging my memory.

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