If you’ve ever opened your web browser to find a different homepage or a strange new search engine, you will know how scary and confusing it can be. These feelings increase as ads pop up all over the place and you’re sent to dodgy looking websites instead of where you wanted to go.
When this occurs, there’s a good chance that you’re the unsuspecting victim of browser hijacking. Fortunately, you can kill this malware using a browser hijacker removal tool. Read on to learn more about browser hijackers and the process to follow when removing them.
What is a Browser Hijacker?
Simply put, it is malware that contains malicious software that gets into your browser and forces it to change settings and behaviour. Hackers want access to your browser to earn them money.
Once it has infected your browser, the hijacker makes the hacker money by either collecting sellable data such as your internet activity, making advertising revenue from pop-ups, or increasing traffic to random websites the hijacker is sending you. In the worst-case scenario, they can record your keystrokes when logging in to online banking, eWallet, social media, and more. With that information at hand, the hacker can access those accounts.
How You Can Remove Browser Hijackers
Malware such as browser hijackers usually infects your computer once you have downloaded and installed infected browser software. If you have recently installed a new add-on or extension, it could have come from there.
To manually remove a browser hijacker, uninstall the software that contains it. You can do this by following our step-by-step process:
- Use the search function on your taskbar and type Control Panel. Alternatively, you can click the Windows logo and manually search for the control panel.
- When the control panel opens, click on Uninstall a program.
- Locate the browser software that you wish to uninstall and click to uninstall.
- Reboot your computer to see if it has fixed the issue.
- If not, repeat the process by uninstalling other software.
If the problem persists, you can use browser hijacker tools to remove the malware automatically. To prevent similar happening in the future, use powerful antivirus software that detects and prevents browser hijackers from infecting your computer.
The Main Dangers Posed by Browser Hijackers
Cybercriminals always come up with new and inventive ways to compromise our computers. You only have to read recent news regarding hackers sending malicious links via Google apps to see that. Browser hijackers are just another in a long line of methods these criminals use to access our data or to monetise our activity.
Browser hijackers pose a significant risk and will attack your computer to perform one of three tasks:
- Infects your computer with adware: Too many ads get tiresome at the best of times, but when you have no choice because of adware, your browser becomes almost unusable. Ads pop up everywhere, forcing you to try and close them. Except they do not always close and you accidentally click them. Each click on an ad will make the hacker money.
- Tracks your activity: Another way cyber criminals make money is by installing web tracking software within your browser. It records all your internet activities such as the websites you visit, software and social media you use, and more. The information gained alongside your location, IP gender, age, and other information becomes extremely valuable to marketers.
- Attempts to steal your identity: Following on from the above, if the hacker can get enough of your personal information, your identity could get stolen. Plus, many home computers hold the personal information of an entire family, so there is so much more at risk.
The Symptoms of Browser Hijacking
Most people notice something is not right immediately. Your previous web browser homepage might have changed on its own, your search engine could have changed too. You may notice increased ads on web pages you visit or get redirected to pages you never wanted to go to. If you notice any of those symptoms, you’re the victim of a hacker that has infected your system with a web browser hijacker.
Hopefully, this article has increased your awareness and given you the advice and guidance needed on how to prevent and remove browser hijackers.