This week we discuss a topic that is very relevant as of late. Many of you have been told that “You have a Browser Hijacker” and the explanation of how and why is often not fully understood, so I will keep it as simple as I can, without getting too technical.

Where a browser hijacker comes from

Many browser hijackings come from add-on software, also known as browser extensions, browser helper objects, or toolbars. Often, these items may improve your experience on a website by providing interactive content, such as animations. However, some add-on software can cause your computer to stop responding or display content that you don’t want, such as pop-up ads.

How to recognize a browser hijacker

Your browser’s home page is overridden, and when you try to open it, you’re automatically redirected to the hijacker’s website. A browser hijacker is defined as a “form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser’s settings without the user’s permission.” The result is the placement of unwanted advertising into the browser, and possibly the replacement of an existing home page or search page with the hijacker page. The idea is to make users visit certain websites whether they want to or not so the hijacker enjoys higher advertising revenue. Browser hijackers may also contain spyware to obtain banking information and other sensitive data.

How does it get in?

Browser hijackers infect computers by numerous means, including through shareware, freeware, and advertisement support applications “deployed through the installation of a web browser toolbar or add-on.” Adware and spyware infections also result in browser hijackers, as doe’s exploitation of various browser vulnerabilities.

Signs a browser is hijacked include:

  • Searches that are redirected to different websites
  • Multiple pop-up advertisement alerts
  • Slow-loading web pages

Examples of browser hijackers include:

  • Ask Toolbar
  • Coupon Server
  • CoolWebSearch

Don’t wait until a threat strikes. Security threats and malware lurk on Windows PCs, Macs, and Android and iOS devices. If you use more than one device – like most of us do I suggest you get it into Hunt Technology, and let us run a scan to determine just what is lurking in the background. Thanks for reading, and remember at “Hunt Technology”, you always get “Quality Service & Individual Attention” you deserve.  Hunt Technology, 320 Watson St., Ripon WI, 920-290-0936

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