Browswer hijacking

Hijacking is a term used to describe the act of someone taking control of something, like your plan, system, or meeting, using it to their own advantage. When used in the context of the online world, it takes a different turn - we’ll explain. Has your web browser’s homepage ever randomly changed, a new search engine appeared on your screen, or are you getting lots of pop-up ads? If so, you might have a browser hijacker.

Browser hijackers change your default settings without your permission. Attackers use browser and search hijackers to make money by forcing you to view ads or inflating a website’s ranking in search results. This isn't just annoying—it can lead to serious problems like identity theft.

Put simply, a browser hijacker is malware that takes control of your web browser, whether it’s Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or another browser. This malicious software is designed to make money for hackers, whether through ads, tracking your online activity, or stealing your personal information.


The main risks of browser hijacking

  • Adware: A type of software that displays unwanted ads or pop-ups while you're browsing the internet. Adware slows your device and makes web browsing frustrating. If not removed, it can lead to more serious malware.

  • Tracking: This means some hijackers follow your internet activity and are able to create a marketing profile to sell or use for targeted attacks.

  • Financial loss: Browser hijackers can steal your financial information, leading to unauthorized transactions and significant monetary loss.

  • Identity theft: Hackers can steal your personal information, sell it on the dark web, and even take out loans and credit cards in your name.

Types of browser-hijacking malware

GoSave Plug-In: Adware that claims to offer shopping discounts but actually plants ads and tracks your activity.

RocketTab: Promises efficient web searches but fills your browser with ads and alters text on web pages.

Coupon Server: Pop-up adware offering deals but allowing more malware into your system.

Ask Toolbar: Seems helpful but changes your search engine and homepage while bombarding you with ads.

Telltale signs of browser hijacking malware

  • Spam web pages and pop-ups

  • Changed homepage and search settings

  • Increased ad pop-ups

  • Slowed browser and device performance

How to manually remove browser-hijacking malware

Uninstall suspicious programs:

  • Search for and open the Control Panel.

  • Select “Uninstall a Program.”

  • Remove any software that looks suspicious.

Reset your browser settings:

  • Clear browsing history, form data, download history, cookies, and temporary internet files.

Steps to protect against browser hijacking

Use public Wi-Fi safely: Whenever using public Wi-Fi browse in incognito mode and avoid non-HTTPS websites.

Understand your web browser: Learn how to manage extensions and plugins.

Avoid unsecured websites: Put simply, do not download or exchange information on non-HTTPS sites.

Secure vs unsecure icon

Secure browsing: Use a secure browser that blocks malware and prevents tracking.

Update your Operating System: Make sure you have automatic updates set in your OS settings, as regular updates include security enhancements.

Use cybersecurity software: Cybersecurity software like Guardio can help you steer clear of browser hijackers, making sure you don't download malware, click on dangerous links, or open harmful emails and texts.

Browser hijacking is a serious threat, but with Guardio, you can protect your system from malware and other cyber threats. Stay safe and secure online with Guardio

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