Browser hijacking is an unwanted and often malicious software that modifies your web browser settings without your consent. Most of the time it is used as an adware tool and you may end up seeing some strange similar ads on every web page you visit through your browser. They may even target you with several frustrating pop-up ads. The origin of those ads is not the website you visit but they are coming from within your own internet browser.
It does not sound life threatening at all unless they are employing something with the adware program known as keylogger. A keylogger logs every character or button you press on your keyboard. This extension of the tool can also be called spyware that can be used to spy on you. Rest assure it can also record your bank account passwords as well as other monetary services you use on your browser.
On top of everything else, this program can also monitor your browsing activity.
How do you get your browser hijacked?
There are several ways you can get your browser hijacked. Some of the really common possible ways are following:
- They get installed with some shareware or freeware programs. Sometimes they will show an unnoticeable box that will already be checked which give them your unintentional permission to install them along the main software.
- Sometimes they are installed by default with some freeware programs whether you like it or not.
- They are also attached to some third-party browser add-ons if you are not careful you may end up installing them through browser add-ons.
In-short they are deceiving and they are designed as such.
How do you find out browser is hijacked?
As I have said you may be looking at same advertisements on all of the web pages you visit on the infected browser.
- Your URL bar searches are redirected to an unfamiliar search website.
- Your browsing experience is interrupted by random pop-up ads.
- You notice some strange toolbars and extensions installed in your browser.
- Your web pages load slowly, since some rogue scripts will start before loading the actual website.
Common landing pages of hijacked browsers
If you open your web browser and you see search bars of the following services, your browser is hijacked.
- Ask Toolbar
- Babylon Toolbar
- Conduit (Search Protect)
- Coupon Server
- MyStart.IncrediBar Search
Common adware website redirects
These are website links that are malicious in nature. If you see ads you click on redirecting you to some of the following links, your browser is definitely hijacked.
Some random characters in website links like:
How to remove browser Hijackers?
First you have to look for unwanted and unrecognizable software programs in your computer and also removing unwanted extensions in the browser. Change your browser settings and set the landing page as preferred. The final and proper solution can be provided by a good antivirus program.
There are several free version antivirus programs available that can help you do that.
- Malwarebytes: 14-day premium with the free version.
- Kaspersky: 30-day premium trial.
- Avast: 30-day premium trial.
Being careful and avoiding downloading & installation of untrusted software programs can help you avoid this menace in the first place. Also, it is very crucial that you do not open attachments from emails you do not expect to receive.