Cricket Start Messes Up Browser Settings

potentially unwanted program (PUP)

Cricket Start is the name of a potentially unwanted program that behaves like a browser hijacker.

Potentially unwanted programs fill the gray space between legitimate applications and more dangerous malware. While a potentially unwanted program will not harm your files or have a destructive effect on your system, it will usually impair your user experience in some way and will exhibit behaviors that are not desirable, hence the name.

Cricket Start is a browser hijacker, which means it will primarily affect your browsing experience. Once installed, it will change several settings in your favorite browser. First of all, your browser's default search engine will be swapped out from whatever you were using before to search.nstart.online. Next, your previous homepage will be changed to the one set by Cricket Start. Finally, the contents of your blank new browser tab will be altered too.

All of this takes place without informing the user clearly and without getting their explicit consent. It is this type of stealthy modification that makes Cricket Start a potentially unwanted program.

Additionally, Cricket Start will fetch search result pages from other engines, usually Bing. However, the engine chosen to fetch the results page may differ depending on the location and IP of the user. Browser hijackers can also log user search queries and use this information to profit by reselling it to third parties and ad networks. This is further undesirable behavior.

To stay safe from browser hijackers in general, never download files and software from suspicious websites. Instead, use legitimate, properly curated download platforms that have a good reputation.