What Is Browser Hijacker and How to Remove It?
Have you ever been in a situation when, as you open your browser, you see a new home page, another search engine, or a new add-on that you have never installed? These are the signs of your browser being hijacked. Your browser is of great value to companies, advertisers, and hackers whose goal is to grab your attention and make you follow a link to a right resource. Let us see how the browser is getting hijacked and how we can prevent it with special antivirus software.
What is a Browser Hijacker?
A browser hijacker malware сhanges your browser’s settings (its appearance, start page, search engine, etc.) without your consent. Such a corrupted browser gives the hijacker an income from advertising, and it makes your PC usage vulnerable to such activities as data collection and keystroke logging.
A web browser is a program to access websites and view documents. Many intruders are interested in following you and your online activities. By accessing your device, hijackers can install adware, spyware, and other types of malware. But quality antivirus products will help remove unwanted software.
Adware floods your screen with pop-ups that pay per click, and spyware collects your private information for trade on data markets. Browser hijackers can redirect you to phishing search engines or other unsafe pages. Adware and spyware can steal your browsing history.
If your entire browser is hijacked, you need to remove the malware asap.
How to Remove It
The first thing is to remember which program, add-on, or extension was the last that you installed whereafter the troubles with the browser began. Try to remove it.
Let me show you how to do this on Windows:
- On the desktop, click on the Windows logo in the bottom left corner.
- Seek for the Control Panel and open it.
- Choose Uninstall a program.
- Find suspicious software (most likely recently installed) and click Uninstall.
It is the first action required to remove the browser hijacker. If your browser still has problems after that, most likely they are related to cookies or cache.
Fraudsters can extract useful information from cache and cookies, such as logins, passwords, and history of visits, thereby tracking your actions online. You can clear the cache and cookies manually or use special programs that will do it for you.
Powerful antivirus software like Loaris Trojan Remover detects hijackers before they mess up your browsing world. You get 24/7 protection against viruses, malware, dangerous links, downloads, and not only that.
Examples of browser hijackers
Browser hijackers are very different, they vary in size, shape, and principle of action. Some show banners and ads, some change the default search engine to their own, and others collect data. In addition to violating the browser, hijackers can install malware. Here are some hijackers that you should watch out for:
Ask Toolbar is an extension that comes with some freeware. It usually replaces the search engine and homepage without your knowledge. In spite of its rebranding (previously known as Ask Jeeves,) Ask Toolbar is still considered malware, although it is a popular search engine.
RocketTab is an adware that makes searching more efficient, as its developers claim. In practice – it swatters the screen with banners, replaces the text with phishing hyperlinks, and pesters pop-ups to you. RocketTab comes with some freeware and installs itself without permission from the user.
GoSave is a plugin that supposedly offers discounts on online purchases. In fact, it also shows a bunch of banners and links on products, most of which are false and some of which may be malicious.
Coupon Server is an adware that displays pop-ups with discount coupons and sponsored links directing to tons of adware. Coupon Server also tries to lure the user to its home page disguised as a search engine.
This program is spyware for Windows that hijacks search engines in most popular browsers (Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer). The service redirects the search to its pay-per-click search engine. CoolWebSearch can also replace bookmarks and browser history to include sponsors, usually online casinos and adult sites.
What are its risks
The three main threats that browser hijacking poses to you are adware, tracking, and stealing confidential data.
- Spam: A hijacked browser often changes the search engine to the one that will spam ads and redirect you to phishing sites. it can contribute to the appearance of even more ads and malicious software
- Adware: As you launch your browser, multiple ads disrupt the normal usage of the program. The hijacker also slows down your PC. The design of this type of malware implies that the more clicks you produce on this advertising, the more money the advertiser will earn.
- Altered browser settings: replace the home page or default settings. When you try to switch to your previous one – nothing happens. New bookmarks may appear, another toolbar may show up, and the browser may start spontaneously opening suspicious pages.
- Pop-ups: Advertising is everywhere. When you try to close the window with advertising, a few more will open. Often ad blockers do not cope with such an abundance of ads. Advertising may appear where it was not before.
- Slowly works and no space: If your browser starts to slow down, the sites’ loading becomes slower, and the disk space runs out, most likely your browser has been hijacked.
How to protect your browser from hijacking
To prevent browser hijacking, avoid unreliable sites and downloads. The software used to hijack a browser is often packaged into freeware and can be unpacked and installed without your knowledge. Regular cleanup of your browser can clear any browser extensions, add-ons, and plugins that have infiltrated your browser without your approval.
Avoid suspicious links
Try not to follow unreliable links and do not download files from unverified sources. Always uncheck checkboxes when installing freeware; malware usually gets into the system as additional gratis software. Check the extensions installed in your browser.
If you are using public Wi-Fi (such as in a cafe or university,) make sure your connection is secure. Open networks may not be unsafe.
Use a well-known secure browser
Today, all popular browsers warn about potentially dangerous links and block suspicious sites and also allow to disable tracking in settings.
Keep your system up-to-date
Timely updating your operating system and programs helps protect you from hacks and attacks, as updates contain fixes to vulnerabilities through which intruders can infect your device.
Use an antivirus
No matter how careful you are, you will hardly fully protect yourself on the Internet. Loaris Trojan Remover can provide reliable protection against most of the known threats. Despite the low weight, Loaris Trojan Remover has all the necessary tools to combat hijackers, providing you a comfortable and uninterrupted operation on the Internet; also, Loaris Trojan Remover does not overload the operating system.