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Warning: Microsoft malware

Warning: Microsoft malware

Microsoft has declared war on a popular browser toolbar and it could change how you use your browser. Recall that a browser toolbar is a row of buttons across the top of your browser that gives you short cuts to accomplish some common or handy browser tasks.

If you've been around the Internet for any length of time, you've probably run into the Ask toolbar. This "helpful" add-on comes bundled with a lot of free programs you download, including Java.

Once Ask installs, you get a toolbar taking up room near the top of your browser that's supposed to help your searches. Ask also changes your default search site and home page to its services, and makes it hard to change them back while it's installed.

You can choose not to install Ask, of course, but a lot of people install without realizing it. If you find yourself accidentally installing third-party add-ons a lot, a program like Unchecky can help you avoid them.

Unlike other toolbars, Ask is fairly easy to uninstall, but it's still annoying to go back and change your home page and default search site. Of course, things are about to change for Ask thanks to Microsoft.

Next page: Microsoft's new stance on the Ask toolbar
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