A reader has a question about a browser hijacker.

“Please tell us about s.yimg  and how to get rid of it. What I have learned so far is that it is potentially unwanted malware from Yahoo. It is confusing. Once it’s gone does it re-install itself? Yahoo is the e-mail program I use. Thank you. My OS is Windows 10/64.”

This browser hijacker is certainly an annoying piece of adware. However, it is not in any way connected with Yahoo.  What this tricky program does is impersonate redirect your search engine of choice, whether it be Yahoo, Bing, or Google to their own page.  Instead of searching from Google.com or Yahoo.com, your searches will be redirected to their website.

It usually gets onto your PC by getting a piggyback ride on a legitimate download of freeware or by placing an ad on a page that misleads you into clicking on it.  If you’re using Yahoo search, you might see a redirect like this:

yahoo-redirect.jpg

Here’s the actual address of the site, it will take you to.

syimg-site.jpg

It’s possible that a good program like Malware Bytes can find and remove this hijacker. But if it doesn’t, you’ll need to remove it manually. Start by typing Add or remove programs in the search box and clicking on the results.

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Click on Apps and features to see all of your installed programs.

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You can then start searching for the hijacker by browsing installed apps. I’d suggest sorting by date installed, since you’ll probably notice the issue right after the program takes over.

install-date.jpg

Once you find the unwanted program, click on it and choose Uninstall.

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This program won’t reinstall unless you click on it again. But there is an important step you can take to prevent accidental installations. Click here to learn how.

Now that we’ve removed the unwanted program, we still have quite a bit of work to do. Because there may be add-ons installed to your browser and you must reset your home page and preferred search engine. Yikes!  We’ll look at how to handle that in the most popular browsers in a series of articles this week.