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Browser helper objects took control of my browser - what now?
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Question:Lately my web browser (IE) behaves very different. I think it happened since I downloaded those 'free' screensavers.
Answer:You might have caught some so called browser helper objects (BHO). These BHOs are not easy to spot. They can work completely invisible behind the scenes, e.g. report all your web browsing activity to a data miner. Or keep track of how you fill out forms and collect your passwords. They practically never come with an uninstall program and you probably don't know how many you have installed.
A famous BHO would be the Google toolbar.
Windows XP service pack 2 will introduce a screen that shows you a list of all BHOs that your machine has. It does not provide an uninstall either!
I recommend the free tool BHODemon from Definitive Solutions, Inc. You can download it here:
That page also lists other tools helpful in reclaiming a hijacked PC.