It is not uncommon to stumble upon a website that is filled with links that irritate us by showing random pop-ups when we hover over them, giving us unsolicited information and overall putting us off from continuing to explore its contents. Of course sometimes this information might be useful, but most of the times it is irritating, useless and overall annoying.
For the not so computer savvy person, this sort of experience raises a flag making you think that your website is corrupted, or infected with a virus. To put your mind at ease, we have decided to explain why these situations happen, and that NO, there isn't anything wrong with your website. It is your computer, your browser. Whether you have downloaded a new toolbar, or a new piece of software and you didn't really read through the installation process to UNCLICK on that checkbox that prompts the download / install of an additional piece of software (the malware bit we describe below), or if it was purely attached to the initial download you intended, it is definitely on your computer, and not on your website.
Why? When? How to remove?
Some browser extensions have the ability to modify the website, but only on the user end. The website itself is not being modified, but how your computer display it is. This can be useful for example to add definitions to words, turn phone numbers into Skype links and even translate the complete site to another language.
Sometimes, these extensions have been installed without the owner's permission, turning them into a malware, sometimes arrive in a form of a virus, other times are installed together with another more legitimate software. The most common of this malware works is by adding an advertisement on a regular page in the form of hyperlinks and trying to make the user to click on those links in order to profit from that. If this happens with a regular website it can be a nuisance, but if it happens on the website you own, it can be really annoying.
Knowing how to detect this and clean it can be sometimes difficult. What do these links look like? They are basically hyperlinked words, normally underlined, but the definitive way to know is when you find advertisements where you shouldn’t.
The removal of this malware can be difficult and it varies depending of the strain of the virus and the browser you are using. There is a basic three step method you can follow before asking help from a professional:
- Check the add-ons or extensions your browser uses. If there’s something that shouldn’t be there you can uninstall it from there. You’ll find this under settings, tools or something similar
- Preform a full scan with your antivirus. If you don’t have one you should get one, there are free ones like Avast, Microsoft Essentials or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. (the last one is specific for malware)
- Open the option to uninstall software on your computer, and check for the installed programs. The most common names for this kind of malware are: “Text Enhance”, “Revo”, “browser enhancements”, “Pando” and many other normally bundled with some free suspicious software.
If none of these solutions helped you solve the issue, you may need to ask a professional for help. LinkNow Media Technicians can clean your computer for you for $45.00 per hour. If you need our help, don’t hesitate to get in touch!