Browser Changes

Changes in Your Browser. If you are not familiar with the term “browser”, it’s simply the computer program that allows you to connect to different web sites. Popular names are Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. Internet Explorer is on every PC because it’s part of the Microsoft operating system whether it’s an XP, Vista, or Windows 7 type computer.


            When you click the Desktop icon that represents one of the previously mentioned programs, it should take you to your “Home” page. Your home page is simply the web site that you have designated to connect to when you click the icon. However, that’s not always the case. Due to the installation of Toolbars or even a virus infection, your home page can be redirected to another site. This other site may download unwanted advertising, or, in the worst scenario, it may deliver malware. Malware is a term used to describe all types of viruses, Trojans, worms, etc.


            Toolbars are often installed without the user being fully aware that it’s happening. Often bundled with the other programs and program updates, they can be installed quietly. When you click your browser icon all of a sudden you may not see your familiar home page. You may also see something new near the top of your browser. It’s called a Toolbar. Popular Toolbars are Google, Yahoo, ALOT, Ask, and MyWebSearch. None of these Toolbars are malicious; however they may connect to unknown 3rd party sites of dubious safety.


            There are 3 steps that should be taken to insure that they are removed. First uninstall the Toolbar. Next scan your computer for malware and finally restore your home page.


            To remove Toolbars, go to the Control Panel; click Programs & Features (Vista & Windows 7), highlight (click) the Toolbar and click Uninstall. XP users click Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel. Reboot the computer and do a full scan with Malwarebytes and Avast. If you have other security programs, use those but I highly recommend Malwarebytes in this case. If anything is detected, reboot the computer and repeat the full scan.


            To restore your home page using Internet Explorer, again open the Control Panel, click Internet Options, highlight the present unwanted entry, if necessary, and type the correct address for your desired site. Click Apply and OK the window. That should restore your home page. If you use Firefox click Tools, Options, and insert the correct address for your home page and OK the window. If you use Chrome, open it and click the wrench in the upper right corner, Click Settings. Under “On startup” choose “Open a specific page or set of pages”, then click “Set pages”, highlight the unwanted address and click the “X” to the right. Type in your correct home page address and OK the window/s. In all cases, after making your changes, close then reopen your browser to see if you have the desired home page.


            Remember, our PC Computer Club is open to all residents. There is no formal membership or experience required. Your questions and problems will be addressed at the meeting. We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Ardmore room of the Community Center.

Don Trauger – Kennett