'Smartanswersonline.com' Browser Hijacker Description
Browser hijackers are applications designed to take over users' Web browsers. They typically target important browser settings and modify them to suit their needs. For example, most browser hijackers substitute the current homepage, new tab page, and default search engine with a new address that they are tasked with promoting. Smartanswersonline.com is exactly such an address being associated with browser hijacker applications. As a result, users may experience unwanted redirects to the unfamiliar page any time they open the affected browsers, start a new tab or conduct a search via the URL bar.
The promoted Smartanswersonline.com address belongs to an unfamiliar search engine. Although most browser hijackers cause redirects to fake engines that lack the necessary functionality to produce search results on their own, this is not the case with Smartanswersonline.com. Infosec researchers have confirmed that it can deliver search results but users should still exercise caution. It is highly likely for the displayed results to include numerous sponsored advertisements that may not even be relevant to the specific search query. That is why it is usually for the best to let your Web searches be handled by reputable vendors.
Browser hijackers, adware, and other intrusive applications often fall into the PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) category as well, due to the questionable methods involved in their distribution. Indeed, the operators of such applications often include them in shady software bundles or entirely fake installers/updates claiming to be for legitimate products. Users also should be aware that many PUPs are equipped with data tracking capabilities making them able to spy on browsing activities, gather device details, and in some cases, even extract sensitive banking/payment details and account credentials from browsers' autofill data.