Browser hijackers completely change the look and functionality of your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) without your permission. They are a type of harmful software, and they can have a detrimental impact on your computer security. You might download this malware onto your computer after visiting a malicious website. Once a hijacker infects your computer, it can be difficult to remove it from your system.
Cybercriminals use browser hijacking for two reasons. Firstly, it allows them to place unwanted advertising into your browser, which increases advertising revenue. Secondly, it enables them to obtain financial and personal data.
How Does Browser Hijacking Work?
You can download this malware onto your computer without realizing it. If you install a piece of software onto your system, for example, it might contain spyware, shareware, or freeware that takes control of your internet browser. Cybercriminals usually disguise this malware as a browser toolbar or add-on.
There is a wide range of browser hijackers, and they are becoming increasingly difficult to identify. The longer you have one of these programs running on your system, the higher the chances of cybercriminals stealing your personal data, such as Social Security numbers, credit card details, and cryptocurrency website login details. Cybercriminals also use browser hijackers to redirect you to certain websites. When you click on these sites, the hijacker may receive money in advertising revenue.
What are the Signs of Browser Hijacking?
You might not notice that there is a browser hijacker on your system at first. Typically, hijackers contain adware that slows down your browser. Look out for the following signs:
• More pop-up ads than normal when browsing the internet.
• Websites take longer to load or don’t load at all.
• There are multiple toolbars at the top of your internet browser.
• Your default search engine has changed.
• Your home page has changed.
• You notice a difference in the appearance of your web browser.
Cryptocurrency and Browser Hijackers
Cybercriminals target people who send and receive money on the internet. As cryptocurrency users exchange large sums of money online, scammers are using browser hijackers to steal their financial data.
Recently, researchers found malware in a Google Chrome extension. Cybercriminals designed it in order to hijack internet browsers and steal the account credentials of Bitcoin users. Thankfully, the extension only stole one Bitcoin transaction before the researchers exposed it.
How Do You Remove a Browser Hijacker?
Removing a browser hijacker can take a lot of time and energy. You might even have to download additional software to delete these malicious programs from your computer system. If you do have a browser hijacker installed on your computer, don’t exchange any money online or send websites personal information until you remove it.
How to Prevent Browser Hijackers
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent a browser hijacker from stealing your personal details. Firstly, always read the small print before you download any software onto your computer from the internet. Look out for applications that developers have bundled with other software as these can contain spyware or freeware. Moreover, only download programs from websites you trust.
You should also update your computer security and antivirus programs on a regular basis. These applications safeguard your data when you send and receive cryptocurrency online and prevent you from downloading malicious software onto your system.
Browser hijackers can take over your internet browser and slowly infiltrate your computer system. As a result, your financial and personal data could be at risk. Look out for the signs of browser hijacking and crank up your security credentials when exchanging cryptocurrency online.