What is Hotbar and How Do I Remove It?

Hotbar is a browser toolbar that installs itself on your PC as a result of clicking on websites that deploy ActiveX controls. Once Hotbar installs itself it will change the toolbar in your browser window and your email client to display search results, new email toolbars, data links, free software, and advertisements from third parties that are associated with Hotbar.

How Hotbar Works

Hotbar can install itself into your PC without your knowledge and as a result of your browsing activity. If you visit a website that uses ActiveX controls, the ActiveX can be infected with a Hotbar file. Hotbar is available as freeware and it usually is accompanied by other malware that can harm your PC and spy on all of your computing activities.

In addition to installing extra toolbars in your browser and email client, Hotbar will also fill these applications with pop-up ads, annoying animations, unusual emoticons, and images that occupy your computer's memory while spying on all of your online activities so it can send relevant ads to your Desktop.

How to Remove Hotbar

There are several different methods you can use to remove Hotbar from your PC's operating system.

  • Add/Remove Programs: You can use Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel to get rid of Hotbar by simply clicking the "Start" icon on your main toolbar and then selecting "Control Panel" from the menu. Click on "Add/Remove Programs" and then choose the entry that says "Hotbar" or "Web Tools by Hotbar." Click "Remove" and then close the window.
  • Remove Hotbar Registry Files: Although you can remove Hotbar through the Add/Remove Programs feature, there will still be files left in your PC's registry. Before removing the registry files you should back up your registry on a separate portable storage device. To access the registry editor, click on "Start" on your main toolbar and then choose "Run" from the menu. Type "regedit" in the dialog box to open your registry editor. Find the files that are associated with Hotbar and delete all of them. When you are finished, close the registry editor and restart your computer.
  • Deploy an Adware/Spyware Scanner: Use a reputable spyware/adware removal program that will scan your PC for any files associated with Hotbar and remove them. Make sure the malware software performs scans on a regular basis and looks for the latest updates to prevent any programs like Hotbar from being downloaded in the future.
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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.