How to Remove an Internet Explorer Hijack

By LizaK

Internet Explorer, like any Web browser, can be prone to weaknesses. One of these is the risk of hijacking, in which a hacker takes control of the browser remotely. Once this happens, the hacker can see what you are typing into password fields, can steal personal information and can use your computer to commit theft, forgery or identity fraud. To keep your computer safe, you need virus protection, spyware protection and hijacking protection.

Step 1

Update and run your virus protection program to make sure there aren't any lasting viruses on your computer. Virus protection programs include Norton and Microsoft Virus, both of which you must pay for, and free programs such as AVG and Avast (see Resources).

Step 2

Download a spyware program and keep in running at all times. While most antivirus programs also include elements of spyware protection, a spyware program is different. It searches for and protects you from programs that are intended to steal your information and hijack your personal sites. Some spyware options include Windows Defender and Lavasoft Ad-Aware (see Resources).

Step 3

Download an anti-hijacking program from a site such as Cyber Defender, K-Soft or The Free Country (see References). These programs can find deep-seated hijacking programs and eliminate them. Run anti-hijacking programs after you have already completed the above steps.

Step 4

Remove suspicious programs manually. Go to your Start menu, then to "Control Panel." Choose "Add or Remove Programs" and go through your program list. Delete or remove any programs that you do not think should be on your computer, but don't simply delete any files you don't recognize. If you see a file and don't know what it is, type its name into a search engine. From the results, you should get an idea of whether it is dangerous. Extensions such as .add or .ext can sometimes be red flags.