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Hijacked Homepage

Did you ever click on your computer’s web browser expecting to see your familiar homepage and, instead, you see some unfamiliar page? You do it again. Same unfamiliar page. Your homepage has been “hijacked.”

If a business was trying to get your attention, what better way than to replace something you look at every day with their self-serving webpage? Really really annoying.

The “new page” often looks a lot like the familiar Google homepage: white background, prominent search box, blinking cursor. If you use this search engine, the sneaky company behind this page sends you to their preferred advertisers and likely sells your search information. Don’t reward them.

How did this happen? The new search engine probably got in your computer bundled with a legitimate program you did allow, you just didn’t realize you were allowing it. (Always look for offers that are “checked”; unless you “uncheck” them, you own them).

How do you get rid of this intruder? First, try to change your homepage back by going to “Settings” or “Preferences” in your browser and replacing the unwanted web address with your preferred one. Depending on how deeply the program infiltrated your computer, this may or may not work. You might need additional help.

If you can’t get rid of the unwanted page, navigate away from it. Put your cursor in the web address box at the top of the page (not the search box!) and type the address of the homepage you want. Even if you must do this each time you open your browser, it’s still worth it.

Don’t search from a page you don’t recognize.