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If you haven’t heard of Alhea before, you’re probably not in the market for a new search engine. This site, which is owned by Google, offers a very different experience than most. It doesn’t just display results, it provides useful suggestions for browsing and marketing jargon. Although it may sound like it has your best interests at heart, you might want to keep in mind that the ads are obnoxious, and the site will try to trick you into installing third-party extension. In fact, if you do find the site on your browser, you might have been duped into downloading a virus.

However, there’s good reason to keep Alhea at bay, and a decent anti-malware program can help. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. While there’s no shortage of free programs on the Internet, you’re also likely to come across bundles of software that will do more harm than good. The most common offenders are freeware downloads. Be sure to check the Advanced settings before you install a program. Many of these downloadable apps contain more than one malicious program.

The best way to rid your system of Alhea is to run a reliable antivirus program and remove all the associated files. However, if you’re lucky, you might be able to save yourself the hassle of removing the offending files. A good rule of thumb is to use a security suite that’s vetted by reputable companies. You can also do your research and read online reviews. Having a solid firewall and a solid antivirus tool will prevent your PC from racking up more than its fair share of cyber security issues.

There’s a lot to be said for the Alhea name. Firstly, the name is a mouthful. Secondly, the UI is very different from the usual search engines. Third-party links and extensions are plentiful, and the site tries to convince you that you need them. As a result, you end up with a confusing array of search results that don’t always make sense. Plus, it’s impossible to ignore the many pop-ups and ads that litter the experience. Even more problematic is that the search engine’s ad-supported homepage will often reload itself several times if you aren’t careful. Luckily, the company has a support team and an uninstall wizard.

Lastly, the aforementioned ode to the Alhea is a must-read. This is particularly true if you’ve been hit with a browser hijacker. Browser hijackers, or hijackers, are programs that change your web browser’s settings without your permission. They can even modify your start page. Often, they’re in conjunction with freeware, which can be a real pain if you’re relying on that software to maintain your security. For that matter, a freeware download might come with a few malware-ridden perks of its own.

There’s no denying that the Alhea website is a little bit of a prank, but it’s still a pretty nice site. On the other hand, it’s certainly not a trustworthy source of search data.

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