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What is a Redirect Virus?

A redirect virus is a computer virus that can affect major search engines such Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

There is no one single cause of redirect viruses, instead it is a plethora of malware infections that redirects your chosen search engine to another search engine after having attempted to conduct a search. If a redirect virus has infected you, you may also notice that the default search engine in your browser toolbar has changed.

The reason the redirect virus exists is, like all malware, related to money. Cybercriminals that create such malware do so as a way to make money through a search engine by redirecting you to custom search engine to generate revenue by exposing you to advertisements on the page.

In order to get you using their search pages as often as possible, malware propagators may change your browser home page and alter default settings without permission. In more serious cases, desktop shortcuts may be affected and Windows host files tweaked. Passwords and account information for certain sites could also be compromised. 

In order to avoid a redirect virus it is important that you never install software that you are unsure about. Ensuring this is the case, you need antivirus protection and an antispyware and antimalware engine – both of which ensure no illegal or illegitimate programmes enter your system while working quickly to remove any virus that already exists on a computer. 

This answer was last updated on 19-May-2014 09:42 AM.