How do you tell if Chrome has been hijacked?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Signs of browser hijacking can be quite evident if you know what to look for. In the case of Chrome, there are a few key indicators that your browser may have been hijacked.

1. Homepage changes: One of the most obvious signs is when your homepage suddenly changes without your knowledge or consent. If you find that your homepage has been altered to a different website or search engine that you didn’t set, it is a clear indication of a browser hijacking.

2. Unfamiliar toolbars: Another sign to watch out for is the appearance of unfamiliar toolbars in your browser. These toolbars can often be installed without your knowledge when you download and install other software. If you notice any new toolbars that you didn’t intentionally add, it is a red flag that your browser may have been hijacked.

3. New favorites/bookmarks: Hijackers may add new favorites or bookmarks to your browser, typically located just below the address bar. These bookmarks may lead you to suspicious or unwanted websites. If you notice bookmarks that you didn’t create, it is a strong indication of browser hijacking.

4. Slow performance and frequent crashes: Browser hijacking can also lead to decreased performance and frequent crashes. If you notice that your browser is running slower than usual, freezing often, or crashing unexpectedly, it could be a result of malicious activity caused by a hijacker.

5. Redirected searches: Another common sign of browser hijacking is when your searches are redirected to different search engines or websites. You may notice that when you search for something, the results page looks different or the search results are not what you expected. This is a clear indication that your browser has been hijacked.

6. Increased pop-up ads: Hijacked browsers often display an excessive amount of pop-up ads, even when you are not visiting any specific websites or engaging with any ads. If you notice a sudden increase in pop-up ads, especially ones that seem unrelated to the websites you are visiting, it is a sign of browser hijacking.

It is important to note that these signs are not limited to Chrome and can apply to other browsers as well. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to take action to remove the hijacker and secure your browser.