How To Detect Virus Infected Browser and Ways to Fix it

A browser hijacker is a malicious program, usually a web browser plug-in that modifies web browser settings in order to change default home, search or error page and redirect a user to undesirable Internet sites. A browser hijacker is able to ecord all web pages the user visits and send this information through a remote Internet connection. Practically all browser hijackers are created for commercial, advertising or marketing purposes. Most parasites are very similar to spyware or adware threats and often have some of their functions. They are installed without explicit user consent and often attempt to obstruct their removal. All browser hijackers are harmful and therefore are always classified as security and privacy risks.

WAYS OF INFECTION

There are three major ways unsolicited parasites can get into the system.


1. the most common way of contracting this infection is by installing unsafe freeware, shareware or advertising-supported programs such as various browser add-ons or toolbars. Unfortunately, uninstalling the host application in most cases doesn’t remove bundled parasite.


2. Some widely spread browser hijackers can also enter the system through Internet Explorer ActiveX controls or exploiting certain web browser vulnerabilities. The creators run insecure web sites (mostly with pornographic or illegal advertising content) filled with malicious code or distribute unsafe advertising pop-ups. Whenever a user visits such a site or clicks on such a pop-up, harmful scripts instantly install a parasite.
It is known that some browser hijackers are dropped by specific viruses, worms or trojans.

The effects are mostly devastating. A user’s internet browsing experience is ruined and they will not be able to visit some of their more visted website and security is at the minimal. This results in a deterioration of internet activity and reduced productivity.

Browser hijackers also affect the system and installed software. Parasites cause web browser instability issues, frequent errors and overall performance problems. Some reputable applications and browser plug-ins may be also affected by browser hijacker activity.

These parasites, as mentioned earlier, will also violate user privacy. They disclose user’s personal information to advertisers and even hackers. Malicious persons use browser hijackers to track user activity in the Internet, find out their victim’s name, contact information and even steal priceless identity data, which then can be used for unclear purposes. Some browser hijackers will also set homepgages to be associated with pornographic resources set adult web sites as home or search pages.

The following methods will help remove broswer hijackers:

Add/Remove programs

If you are running Microsoft Windows and you have noticed a program that you do not wish to use or want uninstalled, see if the program can be removed through Add/Remove programs in the Control panel.

All of the legitimate companies that install toolbars onto your computer should be able to be removed through the Add/Remove programs icon in the control panel. Some examples include the Alexa Toolbar, ASK, Google Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar, and Windows Live Toolbar.

If the spyware program you’re attempting to uninstall cannot be uninstalled or gets reinstalled when you reboot the computer. Boot the computer into Safe Mode and then uninstall the program while in Safe Mode.

Restore browser settings

Some web pages and programs are designed to automatically change your browser’s settings. For example, a web page or program may automatically change your default home page to an alternate home page. These issues can be corrected by following the below steps.

  1. Close all browser windows so that only one window is open.

  2. Visit an alternate safe site such as Computer Hope or Google.

  3. Correct the settings changed, such as changing your home page back to your original home page. Additional help and information about changing your browser’s settings can be found on our browser help pages.

  4. Once the settings have been changed and applied, close out of the browser window.

  5. The next time the browser is opened it should have the correct settings. However, if the site that changed your browser settings is visited again, it is likely that the settings will be changed again. This issue can be prevented with many of the spyware or adware programs that are available today.

Spyware, Adware, and Malware detection and removal programs

Because of the ever-growing threat of these programs, many companies have developed programs that help prevent, detect, and remove these infections. Below is a listing of a few of the programs you may wish to consider.

  • Malwarebytes

  • Microsoft’s Windows Defender

  • Ad-aware from Lavasoft

  • Spybot Search and Destroy

  • HijackThis by Merijn.

A computer can have any number of spyware programs installed at the same time and it’s recommended that you have more than one to ensure your computer is not infected. When running these programs if the spyware returns after rebooting the computer boot the computer into Safe Mode and run the spyware programs while in Safe Mode.

Microsoft Windows XP users

If you are running Microsoft Windows XP, updating to the latest Service Pack will help protect your computer against spyware.

Try alternative browser

Because Microsoft Internet Explorer is the most widely used browser today and because of its vulnerabilities, switching to an alternative browser such as Mozilla Firefox can significantly reduce the amount of spyware you get on your computer.

System Restore

Users who are running Microsoft Windows XP or later and are not able to remove a program that has hijacked their computer or browser may also wish to consider running the Microsoft System Restore and restore the computer to an earlier date.

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