What is Browser Hijacker and How to Protect Yourself?

Most of our financial activities can be done online. In the recent past, a person had to wait forever in queues in order to get served in banks… I mean, who wants that?

The problem is that there are some security threats in online banking that bar you from considering the option of online banking.

One of these reasons is browser hijacking. What is browser hijacking? Well, have you ever started our browser and googled something on Chrome or Mozilla? Of course that’s obvious… but instead of the browser displaying google results, you get results from ask.com and some other funny named search engines.

Browser_Hijacking

The reason for these displays, is that some software changed the default settings of your browser and made them to suit their needs. That is what is called browser hijacking. By changing the search engine, they get to display advertisements from their own search engines which show lots of ads and get more page visits.

The search engine is not the only feature that gets hijacked. There are crucial settings like ‘default user’ that when tampered with, you risk getting involved in some perilous phishing scams.

Chrome, for example, saves your passwords and browser history for eternity. This data will always be synchronized on whatever compatible device that you log in. If another person hijacks your browser and logs in as himself, he should have all the credentials he needs to log into every account you accessed from the browser.

What’s more?

Without an adware remover, your browser will suffer from regular ad spam. What’s worse than that? One minute you are on Facebook and out of nowhere, ‘hot-barbie123’ from 2 miles away is calling you. I mean; take my money but don’t spam nudes on my PC… my mom may be around.

The next thing you know; the power button or task manager is the only solution to removing that great but annoying ad from your screen since you’ll be receiving the ‘are you sure’ message that keeps barring you from closing your browser.

You could decide to go through all this or… prevent them from ever happening, and here is how;

Installing an antimalware program

The main thing people forget is that you need to be vaccinated in order for the incurable diseases to be avoided. Your PC also needs an antimalware software that will define the malware that may try to hijack your browser.

Antimalware programs work the same way as vaccines. However, instead of injecting tamed lethal viruses into your PC, they just get the manifestations of the malware. Anything that will manifest as something that is a potential risk to your computer is either quarantined until you say otherwise of just gets destroyed.

Avoiding third party apps

Almost all the established browsers have their own app/ extension stores. You can get every legit application from these stores, so there is no point of downloading them from other sites or stores.

In fact, downloading anything that is installed into your browser components from other sites is the worst idea that anyone could ever have… unless you trust the site.

Hackers code some malware behind a really amazing app that tantalizes you upon download. The moment you download it; you automatically accept all the permissions that the app asks for. Before you know it, your browser is not yours anymore.

There is no telling what the app will do, so avoiding these types of app will save you loads of cash… or embarrassment because someone walked in on an erotic ad.

Using established browsers

As you know, every time a new thing comes out, it always has some cool feature that beats competing products that have been in the market.

This is the same case with the browsers. New ones always come with some new feature that will entice you to download it. The thing is; most of them are just there to gather all the details they need from you.

It is not like you shouldn’t download new stuff, but take your time to check the responses of the people who have already tried out the browser.

READ THE T&Cs UP TO SOME POINT

The best for last right? Nobody… really nobody likes to read the terms and conditions laid out by developers while installing apps. That is, unless your name is Leslie Knope.

Just pressing next until your app installs is the worst thing that you could ever do in some cases. Most developers hide some software installations within the T&Cs. You may be installing an app like Bittorrent, but at some point, you are given an option to choose whether you want to make xxx your default browser.

Because you don’t want to waste a second which you’d probably spend doing nothing but wait for the installation to complete, you just press yes. That is how your browser gets hijacked with your consent. It is not like you are expected to read everything in the T&Cs (they are downright boring). You can even consider using a program like Unchecky which prevents unwanted installation.

Himadri is a passionate blogger who writes for his technology tips & tricks related blog TechnTechie. He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury. Though it is hard to balance time in between research and blogging, he still manages time to work for his own blog and writes regularly. The dashboard of this WordPress is the only place where he does not feel tired!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest Comments

  1. yogesh December 27, 2017

Leave a Reply

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons