Alert: Browser Hijacking Symptoms

Alert: Browser Hijacking Symptoms

As you browse the internet are you seeing endless pop-ups with offers of 800 numbers for technical support and more?

Your browser may have been hijacked.

Sophisticated malware now has the ability to recognize the type of page you are visiting, hijack your browser and serve you related pop-up ads.

Pop-ups like the one pictured below (being served to a visitor to are most likely associated with a browser hijack/malware infection.


The pop-ups are in NO way associated with PC Matic or PC Pitstop.

If you require assistance with PC Matic – contact our product support team via the link below:

The PC Matic help desk is staffed from 7am to midnight Central, 7 days a week.

Other Symptoms of a Browser Hijack – via Bob Rankin:

• Browser start page changed to an unwanted site

• New toolbars, bookmarks, or desktop shortcuts that you did not add

• Entering a website address and being taken to some other page instead

• Your default search engine has been changed

• Inability to access certain sites, particularly anti-malware sites that might help you

• Your Internet security settings have been lowered without your knowledge

Endless pop-up ads for things you don’t want to see

• Sluggish computer response; malware often slows your whole system down

Tips from The Windows Club:
Browser Hijack Prevention

• Install a good security software and turn-on the option to detect PUPs if your antivirus software so permits.
• Take care while installing any new software. Never click Next, Next, Next blindly.
• Opt-out of any third-party software.
• Never install plugins or extensions of doubtful credibility and uninstall the one’s you do not need.
• If you can, install a software that can keep a watch on your system in real-time – something like WinPatrol. This and other tools have been covered a bit more. at the end of this post.
• Harden your ActiveX settings. Open Internet Options > Security > Internet > Custom Level. In the ActiveX section, set Download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt, Download unsigned ActiveX controls to Disable and • Initialize and Script ActiveX controls not marked as safe to Disable.

Browser Hijack Removal
1] You may open the Addons Manager of your browser and check all the installed addons, extensions and plugins. If you find anything suspicious, you may uninstall it.

2] If you find that its simply a case of your default search or home page having been hijacked, you may revert these settings back, via the browsers settings. But if it is more serious, like your links being redirected to other sites, being unable to open certain websites, etc, then maybe your Hosts file too could have been hijacked. You may need to reset your Hosts File.

3] Flushing your DNS Cache is also something we would like to recommend, if you find that your browser has been hijacked.

4] Check if any sites have already been added to your Trusted Sites Zone as shown below.

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20 thoughts on “Alert: Browser Hijacking Symptoms”

  1. “Alert:Browser Hijacking Symptoms” shows up in one of my tabs each time I load Firefox. How can I stop this?

  2. Hi,

    Last week when I fired up my laptop from hibernate state or a start up, not sure which now, and may be I clicked my Firefox button in the tool bar a window opened with clearly Microsoft layout but had a part transparent window superimposed that stated that I may have been using a pirated software and a scan check was needed.

    My virus protection came into play and asked if I waned to precede. I responded with a cautious one time access.

    Then a spinning timer I would call it and a message that this might take some time was shown. After may minutes – probably 10 or 20 I closed the whole window down.

    Looking at what could see of under lying window it look genuine Windows stuff.

    Just wondering if anyone else has seen the same?

    Although I did not find any problem after I did have software load up next time I wake up my computer and using a repair disk did not help as I don’t think I was even getting the Windows load up cycle.




  4. I was hijacked last week by iStart123. It hijacked my home page, blocked any attemt to revert back to my own settingsI have Viper antivirus and Spyhunter on my comp. Spy Hunter found it but did not remove it. Finaly used Trojan Killer that found it and other nasties and removed it. Alls good now.

  5. I hope someone on this forum that has some decent tech savvy is able to advise Catherine Lee on her hacking deli-ma.

  6. A browser taking you to a different URL than the one you requested is completely normal. It is called a 303 redirect. old pages will redirect to new. Dead sites will redirect to a parking site. What is troubling is when a URL to a working site takes you somewhere completely unrelated, or asks you to take a survey unrelated to the site.

  7. Mårten Mellberg

    About this "Take care while installing any new software. Never click Next, Next, Next blindly"

    I use to select custom installation instead of standard, if you use standard they often install toolbars and other things.

  8. I have received your newsletters for some time now. I find them very helpful. My problem is, someone hacked my yahoo account. From my yahoo account they have access to every email I send and all job info. If I do get a resume out, they delete the email correspondence before I can see it. For instance, if I go to search for something, before I enter anything, they will put in some word in the search bar that I didn’t want. I am not sure it isn’t a family member friend who set this up, so I couldn’t get work. I have no money to pay for a computer IT person or anything else. They have all contact info including my phone. It seems all I would have to do is find an IP address of who this is. I would like to be able to press charges but I don’t know who they are. I would appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you.

  9. It would be good to know whether or not my browser has been hijacked. But assuming that it in fact has been hijacked, what could I do about it? It would really be very good to that too…

  10. The best way to rid yourself of these intrusions is to reset your browser. IE: Tools > Internet options > Advanced > Reset. You may need to backup your favorites before a reset.
    Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu
    Select Settings.
    Click Show advanced settings and find the “Reset browser settings” section.
    Click Reset browser settings.
    In the dialog that appears, click Reset.
    Firefox: Click the menu button
    From the Help (?) menu choose Troubleshooting Information.
    Click the Reset Firefox… button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens. Firefox will close and be reset. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish and Firefox will open.
    If confused search for any browser you want to reset, e.g. – Firefox reset
    Alternatively you can check the Extensions and Plugins in Firefox. Settings and Extensions in Google Chrome. Manage Add-ons, Toolbars and Extensions, Search Providers in Internet Explorer. Pay close attention to the home pages and change to your preference. Sometimes if infected by malware or viruses these settings may change again. You may need to scan for viruses with super-antispyware, malewarebytes etc.or your anti-virus program in safe mode in order to remove malicious software. In extreme cases a backup and re-installation of the OS may be necessary.

  11. PC Pitstop is a computer owners best friend. The information here is clear and concise. The cleanup software is well worth it. I used it years ago and my computer was awesome. Now I just keep a check on things. PCs need maintenance just like an automobile. You can trust PC Pitstop!

  12. yes, I notice my default search engine has changed and I am getting so many pop ups that I cannot get to where I am going.

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