Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hijacked by Yahoo's search engine

I don't know about you, but the most frustrating thing about computers is the internet. Back in the days before internet (I was there) computers were relatively secure. When a computer virus infected your machine it was because someone inserted a disk that had a virus on it. Those were more common that you might think. Shared game disks were notorious.

All you need to do today is access the wrong web site or install something without paying attention. I searched and found a disk cleaner the other day. As I installed it, I wasn't paying attention and I agreed to have Yahoo install as my search engine.


Every time I opened Firefox, the Yahoo search popped up. I just don't like when my computer starts doing things I don't want. First it's a search engine, then the computer takes over the world!

Even though it wasn't a virus, it was persistent. I was frustrated enough to delete Firefox and reinstall it. Firefox saves settings, though, so that didn't work. I was thinking of rebuilding the OS on my machine - admittedly the most radical solution available to me

If Yahoo ever hijacked your browser, you know exactly what I mean.

Fortunately, I slept on the problem and the next morning an internet search found a solution that worked for me. Internet - the problem and the solution all wrapped into tangled web.

Stelian Pilici put together a comprehensive and easy walk-through at his site.

Here is the summary, directly from his page:
STEP 1: Uninstall Yahoo Toolbar and malicious program from Windows
This didn't work for me. I couldn't find the uninstall option for the Yahoo toolbar. On to the second step!

STEP 2: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
This involved doing a reset on the browsers. He explains in great detail how to do so.

STEP 3: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and browser hijacker from your computer with AdwCleaner
He gives the link to the cleaner and it worked like a charm.

STEP 4: Remove Yahoo Toolbar and virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
I already own Malwarebytes for each of my machines and run it regularly. By itself, though, it didn't take care of the problem. I still needed the first three steps.

STEP 5: Double-check for the Yahoo Toolbar and infection with HitmanPro
I almost skipped this step, but HitmanPro did find a number of other things to fix. I was surprised.

So kudos to Stelian Pilici for a good solution to a nasty problem, and for a useful website overall. Go visit his page if you're having the same Yahoo problem!
As an aside, did you know that the word "yahoo" first appeared in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, where it refers to a race of brutal creatures who look like men? That almost seems fitting...

I can hardly believe that this is the first of March. I get my new office furniture tomorrow. I'll post pictures when it's all set up as part of my Retirement series

Finally, visit my new Author web site for Vincent Bernhardt! Sign up for my newsletter! My newsletter subscribers will receive the first drafts of ongoing projects, as well as thoughts on my writing process.

And be cautious of pop-up ads for removing viruses from your machine - even if the ad pops up on this site!

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