We have been receiving lots of customer help requests and consultation inquiries from various partners on how to remove the browser redirect hijackers like redirecting Google search engine results and Internet browser’s homepage. It is becoming more and more annoyed to have loads of new hijackers showing up on the Internet and nobody seems to stop any of these new releases. For every average computer user, the homepage of your Internet browser may have been redirected to an unknown site rather the one you have specified; whenever you open your favorite Internet explorer, you will be redirected to some random websites or annoying popups are showing up; whatever you enter terms into the search engines like Google, you are being redirect to other websites or search engines; unwanted toolbar uninstalled on Internet browsers (e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) without your consent or your notice slow down your surfing experience and collect privacy information from whatever you are doing on the Internet. In most of these cases, you may have been infected with malicious applications. To remove the certain malware, you can install reputable malware removal tool like Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, submit your help requests on security forums, or consult YooCare/YooSecurity professional technicians on the virus and malware removal service online.

What is Browser Hijacking (e.g. Google Search Results Redirect)

What is Browser hijacking? Browser hijacking is a type of online fraud which directs the browser requests to other suspicious websites. Here are some of the most common browser hijacking phenomenons: the browser homepage or certain setting has been changed maliciously; suspicious links are added and point to unknown websites that you’d usually avoid; The Internet browser like Internet Explorer is forcibly redirect to some malicious webpages; the wrong URL takes you to a certain website full of advertising contents or contains porn elements; the browser becomes extremely slow when you typing on it; the browser favorites would be added links from malicious website automatically even though you delete them multiple times; the search results like Google search are redirected to unknown sites whenever you are doing a search. Any one of such situations above, we consider them as the browser hijacking. Most browser hijackers (e.g.  MyStart by IncrediBar  and WhiteSmoke Toolbar) turn user’s usual web surfing into a real nightmare. Some malware also like the FBI Moneypak virus,FBI virus scam, and System Progressive Protection virus has been engineered by unethical hackers by hijacking all the browsing sessions and render your browser useless.

Browser hijacker is a malicious application that could modify the browser’s home page, searching page, search results and the default settings through the DLL plug-ins, BHO, WinsockLsp in order to hijack the victim computers to the specified website. Browser hijacker can control the browser to peep the webpage which you are visiting and change the way of Internet surfing. In such situation, your passwords and online banking information and important files could be compromised. Browser hijackers also affect the system and installed software. Parasites cause the web browser instability issues, frequent errors and overall performance problems. Some reputable applications and browser plug-ins might also be affected by browser hijacker activity. Browser hijackers differ from regular viruses. They do not spread by themselves and usually must be installed as any other software with or without user consent. Once your browser has been hijacked, your PC system may be running with flawed security protection and you have to remove the browser hijacker to release your computer from the browser hijacking.

How to Judge Whether the Browser is Hijacked?

1. You can’t navigate to certain web pages, such as anti-virus/anti-malware and other security software sites.
2. Redirect a web browser to suspicious sites whenever the user enters invalid address or performs an Internet search like doing a Google search.
3. Track user’s web browsing habits, record addresses of visited sites and send collected data to a remote server.
4. New foolbars or Favorites are installed or added with desktop shortcuts and links to webpages that you don’t want or not aware of.
5. Modify the essential web browser settings, decrease the default security level and add undesirable or insecure resources to the trusted sites list.
6. The browser keeps redirecting you to a suspicious website and all the search results like Google search results and Bing search results are directing to unknown websites.

How to Prevent Browser Hijacking?

First, you can take some basic and simple measures to prevent your computer from being attacked by browser hijacking. For instance, whenever you try to download an application, you would receive message pops-up warning that whether you are sure to install this program on your computer. Some free software would contain Spyware or Trojan in it and inject them into your PC system. So please make sure the application you are going to download is from the trusted websites or the product official website. Moreover, do not visit the illegal website like: gambling, porn and other suspect websites.

Second, download and install the security programs on your computer. If you like to use Internet Explorer, you can modify the security level to the higher level. Of course, the Internet browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome also allow you change the security level. That is not enough to prevent the browser hijacking. You still need to update your antivirus or anti-malware programs on your PC. Most of the security applications have the feature updating to the latest version automatically. What you need to do is just to keep it running on your computer especially when trying to download and install a new program. There are many effective anti-malware programs available like Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Norton Internet Security. You can download and install these anti-malware programs, update them with the latest version and make sure the automatic update function is enabled.

How to Restore Your Browser If It has been Hijacked?

1. If you keep receive Windows popups on the screen when visiting website, you have to close the browser immediately. a) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to enter the Task Manager. b) Click “progresses” c) Select Internet Explorer and then click “End process” to terminate this process. This may help you stop the pops-up windows.

2. Turn off the Pop-up blocker. a) Click Start, click Run, type inetcpl.cpl, and then click OK to open the Internet Properties dialog box. Alternatively, open Internet Explorer, and then click Internet Options on the Tools menu to open the Internet Properties dialog box. b) Click the Privacy tab, and then do either of the following. Click to clear Block pop-ups to turn Pop-up Blocker off. If your browser home page has been modified maliciously, you can try to reset the browser settings. Please follow the instructions as below:

Click Start, and then click Run. Type the following command in the Open box, and then press Enter: inetcpl.cpl
If you use Windows Vista, click Start .Type the following command in the Start Search box, and then press Enter: inetcpl.cpl
The Internet Options dialog box appears. Click the Advanced tab. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset. Then click Reset again.
Finally, start Internet Explorer again.

3. Use the Windows Add/Remove Programs to delete the malicious programs or suspect applications. After you remove them, go to the “Recycle Bin” and then empty it directly. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.

How to Remove Internet Browser Hijacking and Remove Goolge Redirect Virus (Including Step-by-Step Guides)

Browser hijacking is a common type of online fraud you can come across very often. The unethical or malicious publishers can take control of the way how your Internet browser works like locking your Internet browser’s homepage, redirecting to unknown websites, popping up unwanted ads or hijacking your search results like the prevalent Google search redirects. To prevent your Internet browser from being hijacked, you will need to install the anti-virus and anti-malware software and update them to the latest versions; make sure Windows Update is enabled and patch the latest service packs available; practice a safer Internet browsing. There are a variety of methods can be let out of the control of hackers and restore the original settings. You can refer to the guide below to keep the hijacking away.

1. Keep your anti-virus/anti-malware software up to date
2. Enable the firewall settings or install a firewall, making sure the firewall policies are in place and the automatic updating function is enabled for your firewall.
3. Practice safer surfing by upgrading the operating system to the latest service patch or to the latest operating systems that are supported by the vendor; upgrading the installed software to the latest version; make sure the automatic update settings are enabled for your system and software; read carefully the terms before installing any software; be careful to download anything from the Internet as most of the malware are distributed via P2P networks, Warez portals and email attachments; in case you are using an Email client to send/receive your emails, install a spam fighting software to filter the unwanted emails.

If you are still having the issues to remove Google redirect virus or anything associated with browser hijacking, you can consult YooCare/YooSecurity technicians online for your specific problems.

Published by Tony Shepherd & last updated on June 3, 2013 12:49 pm

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