February 16, 2015

Browser hijacking is a term used to describe modification of user’s internet browser’s settings without his consent. This can either happen while downloading and installing new software, or if some malicious hacker forcibly redirects you to a spam website. Once your browser has been hijacked, it can crash your browser, change your default search engine, redirect you to third party websites, add new toolbars or bookmarks, and enable popups or ads on your screen.

Just like other malware and internet scams, hijacked browsers can make a good amount of money for the hackers. It can change your default home page to their website where the search results are directed to the links that the hackers want you to see. Any click on these links is a source of money for the cybercriminals. They can also sell information about your browsing habits to third parties to be used for marketing purposes.

Tips To Prevent Browser Hijacking:

Given here are some of the important tips that can help you prevent your browser from getting hijacked:

  • Frequently Update Your OS And Browser Version: Make sure that you have updated your browser with the latest version available. Also make sure that all the security patches are properly functioning to avoid any cyber-attacks targeted at unshielded vulnerabilities. Companies providing web browsers are responsive to the hijacking issue and keep on adding security features to prevent it. Thus, it is essential that you update your browser regularly.
  • Enable Real-Time Protection in Your Anti-Virus Software: Most antivirus software offer a feature known as ‘Real-Time Protection’ that keeps an eye on attempts made to alter your browser’s configuration files. It alerts you if anything you are downloading is trying to make changes in the browser’s settings. For this, you should make sure that your antivirus software is always up to date.
  • Be Careful Before Downloading Any Software: Browser hijacking software may be downloaded automatically along with a number of authentic software. Therefore, you should always be careful while reading the disclaimer details about installing any particular software. Some companies allow you to refuse to install the bundled applications that are not essential for the downloaded software to operate.
  • Removing Browser Hijacking Malware: Some hijacking software permit removing the faulty applications after installation. However, most of them do not allow you to undo the changes made to your browser’s settings. Even after you have removed the software from your system, your browser will remain hijacked until you manually reset its settings to default.

Browser hijacking is one of the most common cyber security threats. It is important to protect yourself by selecting appropriate settings and anti-viruses for your computer. For more information on network/ cyber security, please call us at – (855) 375-9654.