Keep your device clean

If you’re getting redirected from Google or seeing pop-up ads, unwanted toolbars or strange Google search results, your computer may have malware. Malware is software designed to damage and take control of your computer.

Signs that you might have malware

If you have malware on your computer, you may see these symptoms:

  • Pop-up ads
  • Unwanted toolbars
  • Inappropriate Google search results or ads
  • Being redirected from a site that you're trying to visit, like your home page or Google
  • Seeing a search engine that looks like Google, but with an unfamiliar URL or logo
  • Getting results from the wrong search engine

Remove malware from your computer or browser

  1. CHeck your computer for programs that you don’t recognise, and uninstall them.

Some examples of programs to uninstall:

  • BrowserProtect
  • Desk 365
  • Dosearches Browser Protector
  • DProtect
  • eSave Security Control
  • Extended Protection
  • Nation Zoom browser protection
  • New Tabs Uninstall
  • Omiga plus
  • Wysys Control

2. If you’re using Chrome or Firefox, use the browser reset feature to undo the changes that you see and get your settings back to normal.

3. If you’re using another browser, use antivirus software to detect and remove malware from your computer.

4. If the steps above didn’t fix the issue, create a post in the Google Search Forum about your issue. In your post, mention what troubleshooting steps that you've already completed.

Prevent your computer from getting malware in the future

Tip 1: Keep your browser and operating system up to date.

Most operating systems will let you know you when it’s time to upgrade – don't ignore these messages. Old versions of software can sometimes have security problems that criminals can use to easily get to your data.

Google’s Chrome browser automatically updates to the latest version every time you start it up, so you can get the most up-to-date security protection without any extra work.

Tip 2: Keep an eye on what you click and download.

Without meaning to, you may click a link that installs malware on your computer. To keep your computer safe, only click links and downloads from sites that you trust. Don’t open any unknown file types, or download programs from pop-ups that appear in your browser.

Also pay attention to the fine print details and any auto-ticked tick boxes when downloading. Make sure that you understand what programs are being installed.

Safety tools

Discover the Top 5 Google online safety features designed to help you keep your family safe online.

Google Accounts

Make your Google Account even more secure

You can add an extra layer of security to your Google Account by enabling 2-step verification. If you have 2-step verification turned on, Google will send a passcode to your mobile phone when someone tries to sign in to your account from an unfamiliar computer. This means that if someone steals or guesses your password, the potential attacker still can’t sign in to your account because they don’t have your phone. Now you can protect yourself with something you know (your password) and something you have (your phone).

Learn more

Access your settings by clicking your name or picture in the right-hand corner then clicking Account.

At the top, click Security. In the Password box, click Setup next to “2-Step verification.”

You will then see a step-by-step guide which will help you through the setup process.

You’ll then be taken back to 2-step verification settings. Review your settings and add backup phone numbers.

You’ve finished! Next time you sign in, you’ll receive an SMS with a verification code.

Chrome

Browse the web in private

You can use Incognito Mode in the Chrome browser on your computer, tablet or phone to browse the web privately. In Incognito Mode, the pages that you visit and files that you download aren't recorded in Chrome’s browsing or download history.

Learn more

Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar → Click New Incognito Window.

A new window will open with the incognito icon in the corner. To exit, simply close the window.

Google Accounts

Your Google Account, your way

On your Account settings page, you can see services and information associated with your Google Account and change your security and privacy settings.

Learn more

Access settings by clicking your name or picture in the right corner, then clicking Account.

Google Accounts

Get an alert if your name appears on the web

Me on the Web can help you understand and manage what people see when they search for you on Google. It helps you set up Google Alerts so you can monitor if information about you appears online, and it automatically suggests some search terms that you may want to keep an eye on.

Learn more

Sign in to your Google Account and navigate to the “Me on the Web” section.

Click Manage my Web Alerts, and then click the red button to create an alert.

Your name will show up in the text field. Click the text field to view more suggested alerts.

Click Add to add an alert. Click the pencil icon to make edits and the bin icon to delete.

In the “How often” drop-down, choose the frequency of alerts.

Google Accounts

Manage the data stored in your Google Account

Google Dashboard shows you what's stored in your Google Account and provides an overview of some of your recent account activity. From one central location, you can easily view your data and activity and access your settings for services such as Blogger, Calendar, Docs, Google+ and more.

Learn more

Visit Dashboard to see a summary of the data associated with your Google Account and manage your personal settings.

From here, see and manage data stored in your Google Account.

See more safety tools