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Malware Blocks Google
As far as search engines go, Google is probably the most reliable, offering a superb range of results from web sites to images, news items to video clips and even price comparison – it’s one of those websites that we find it hard to ignore.
It can be used to find people, find maps of places and even help you to find the solution to various problems that you might encounter… if it’s working, that is.
Bizarre as it might seem, there is a situation that occurs from time to time for people around the world which leads them to scratch their heads and observe “Google won’t work on my computer!”
The reason for this is simple – their PCs have been infected with malware.
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Why Does this Happen?
It’s a simple idea. Malware infects your computer, performs tasks (such as depositing Trojans or spyware) and then let’s you carry on as normal visiting all of the websites you normally visit, with a backdoor or a facility to log your activity and farm your username and passwords now present.
Meanwhile you’re unlikely to notice anything amiss until you try and use Google, where you will find that either the webpage simply won’t open, or it diverts to another search engine entirely (known as a browser hijack).
The developer of the malware has probably included some code to prevent you from finding out how to remove the malware that is infecting your PC by blocking your browser from accessing Google.
(Image by author)
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How Do I Know Google Isn’t Down?
While there is every chance that the reason you can’t access Google is because the site is offline, this is unlikely. Server problems rarely affect the search giant, which uses vast collections of servers fully equipped with software that allows them to keep running in the event of a hardware failure and hot-swappable components that can be replaced while the server is still switched on.
Furthermore, there are many ways to check if Google is still offline, from browsing from a mobile phone to checking via an internet connected TV.
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Identifying and Removing the Malware
In order to check if your PC is infected with malware, press CTRL-ALT-DEL and select Task Manager, or find it by right-clicking the Windows Taskbar. From here, look for any unusually named processes; traditionally these are made up of random characters. You will then need to stop these processes – if they then appear to start back up or refuse to stop then it is a good bet that you’ve found the culprit.
Different infections respond differently to various tools, but the place to start is with MalwareByte’s Anti-Malware utility that is free for home users. Performing a full scan with this tool should detect and remove the infection and allow you to access Google once again.
You should also consider resetting your browser (if you’re using Internet Explorer of Firefox this is particularly easy) as well as installing some competent Internet security software.