Google’s new Chrome feature warns if your browser is being hijacked

5 Feb 2014

Google’s latest change to its Chrome browser is a pop-up window that automatically resets browser settings if suspicious activity is detected, preventing users from having their browsers hijacked.

The anti-malware feature was originally launched in October and automatically resets Chrome settings in the event a download or webpage triggers an attack.

Google said settings hijacking continue to be its No 1 user complaint with respect to Chrome.

“To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they’d like to restore their browser settings back to factory default,” said Google’s Linus Upson, vice-president of engineering.

“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.”

The reset will disable any extensions, apps and themes users have installed.

To reactivate any of your extensions after the reset, you can find and re-enable them by looking in the Chrome menu under “More tools > Extensions.” Apps are automatically re-enabled the next time you use them.

“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 added.

More information can be found in the Chrome help forum.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years