Hijacking of browser settings a top complaint: Google

Feb 03 2014, 20:59 IST
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Hijacking of browser settings tops the list of user complaints made to search engine Google as cyber criminals change them using malicious software. Reuters Hijacking of browser settings tops the list of user complaints made to search engine Google as cyber criminals change them using malicious software. Reuters
SummaryHijacking of browser settings tops the list of user complaints made to search engine Google.

Hijacking of browser settings tops the list of user complaints made to search engine Google as cyber criminals change them using malicious software.

Modification of the settings is done without users' knowledge to generally force hits on a particular website, increasing its advertising revenue.

"So, you're trying to download a free screensaver or game or something else you really want. But later you find out that game came bundled with a malicious programme that's trying to hijack your browser settings. You're not the only one having this problem, in fact, it's an issue that's continuing to grow at an alarming rate," Google said on its official blog.

To help keep users browser settings under their control, Google added a 'reset browser settings' button to Chrome's settings page in October last year, it added.

"Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint," the tech giant said.

To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Google added that Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they like to restore their browser settings back to factory default.

"If you've been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click 'Reset' on the prompt below when it appears," Google VP Engineering Linus Upson said.

"Some hijackers are especially pernicious and have left behind processes that are meant to undermine user control of settings, so you may find that you¿re hijacked again after a short period of time," Upson said.

In such a situation, users can find additional help uninstalling such programmes in the Chrome help forum, he added.

"Even if you don't see the prompt, you can always restore Chrome to a fresh state by clicking the reset button in your Chrome settings," Upson said.

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