Browser Hijacker is an unwanted program that installs as a form of browser helper objects like a search engine, browser add-ons, and extension. These are presented as legitimate programs to enhance the browsing experience of users. However, it is not so…Instead, it is just a piece of potentially harmful program that infiltrates the web browser through social engineering ways and does various modifications on it.
If your web browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla or Internet Explorer is attacked by the browser hijacker then you may see your start page, search engine, and new tab substituted by unknown URLs. This is the very first sign of infection.
Browser hijackers are meant to control the targeted browser and its activities. And use the
infected browser for various phishing activities like marketing campaigns, redirecting to third-party sites to gain traffic, encourage the download of other Adware sorts of programs in the form of browser extensions, add-ons, and toolbars. Not only these, but browser hijacker program is also able to collect your browsing information including:
- Visited website’s info;
- Browsing habits;
- Reads bookmarks;
- System-related information like IP address, location, browser type;
- Login credentials of frequently visited websites and many such.
These collected pieces of information are then shared to the authors of the browser hijacker program which then use them for various illegal activities and identity frauds. So, if your browser is infected with a browser hijacker then, you should be concerned about your privacy as all your crucial information can be publicly misused. It can lead to huge loss of monetary information as the collected information contains logins details of sensitive website and keywords entered to the site.
You should immediately choose to remove browser hijacker program from your infected browser as soon as possible to avoid any harm to your personal information and security of the whole computer system.
Read more to know about browser hijacker in detail or click to go for removal procedure.
Effects of a Browser hijacker on the infected browser as well as system
Once the browser hijacker enters its target PC system, it typically causes these activities:
- Modifications of web browser settings: The moment your browser is attacked with browser hijacker program, you may encounter strange things on your browsers like homepage replaced with an unknown address, default search engine altered to third-party ones and new tab page is also modified. Along with that, browser hijacker programs also install rogue extensions, add/remove bookmarks and does several other modifications to the system settings without the user’s permission.
- Search engine shows irrelevant results: This is a most common issue faced by the browser hijacker programs, whenever you perform any searches, the third-party search engine will show irrelevant search results loaded with paid ads and advertising links. Clicking on them will further redirect you to an unknown website that could be risky. Most often, fake search engine does not allow users to visit legitimate websites. Thus, browsing is totally hampered.
- Collect personally non-identifiable information of users: Like Adware programs, browser hijackers also are intended to collect browsing information of users including browsing patterns, frequently viewed websites, keywords searched, and so on. These collected data are then sent to their main server for running shady marketing campaigns. There are also some malicious programs that can risk sensitive information such as saved logins, email address, location, IP address, and even bank account details.
- Impact the System performance: Some browser hijacker programs consume the major part of the system resources to carry out illegitimate actions without the knowledge of users. This causes system slowdown, screen crash, unexpected error, memory loss and so on.
Distribution methods of Browser hijacker
There are many illicit sources through which browser hijacker can infiltrate to your system. Here are some of the crucial ways through which browser hijacker could attack:
- Downloading Freeware, shareware and third-party programs: There are various third-party download websites, streaming applications, and download manager program which offers freeware and shareware programs. Beware these freeware can cost your privacy later on. As such freeware programs are often bundled with unknown programs like browser add-ons, plug-ins and extensions that install without seeking further approval. And once installed can modify crucial settings of the system for its own benefit.
- Avoid clicking on ads and pop-ups: Every internet user will agree to this, ads and pop-ups are a part of the internet world and we encounter them everywhere. Not all the ads and pop-ups are misleading, but they often trick innocent users by convincing them to a legitimate program through their attractive ads. But they might be just a fake browser helper object like fake search engines, toolbars, browser add-ons, and extensions. They will ruin your browser and hamper your privacy and security too. So, be sure when you next click on any ads.
- Pretending to be a useful Browser helper object: Browser helper objects are actually useful tools that advance the browsing experience and saves our time. But not all the browser extensions, toolbars and search extensions are genuine. They are actually ad-supported programs(Adware) that tends to modify your browser settings once you install them. These adware further drops browser hijacker components onto the web browser. Soon you will see your homepage and search settings altered.
What to do when your computer is infected with the browser hijacker.
Like Adware, browser hijacker too is tough to be removed but is not impossible. There are both manual and automatic removal methods work for browser hijacker.
But the thing is, if you are going for manual removal then you should be aware of which hijacker program is affecting your system, its registries, and components. This will help you to successfully remove the browser hijacker program from your browser.
Here, we will show you both the automatic and manual removal methods to get rid of browser hijacker.
We recommend you to print these instructions or open it from another uninfected computer or laptop and follow step-by-step manual removal instruction.
- Step 1: Boot your Computer to “Safe Mode With Networking“
- Step 2: Remove Suspicious Programs from Browsers
- Step 3: Removing Adware from Operating System
- Step 4: Cleaning temporary files and removing unwanted programs left within task manager
- Step 5: Running Full System Scan (Recommended Automatic Process)
Stay Free From Browser Hijackers With These Preventive Measures
On one hand, the internet is a huge network of resources and useful things but on the other hand cyber criminals misuse it for illegal activities and bad practices. There are various forms of computer threats and malware are roaming across the internet, any incautious activity could hamper our privacy and negotiate the resources of the computer system.
So it is better to take on few guidelines which will help to stay safe from such annoying and risky threats:
- Be cautious while Browsing: It is not necessarily what appears to be useful or legitimate is actually so. Thus, do not be in hurry to click any download link or any hit any ad as they might be an invitation to download a malicious or destructive program.
- Use only official websites for downloads: browser hijacker programs often come bundled with freeware program within the third-party download sites or any recommended link. So be careful from where you are downloading the required programs. If you are installing any web extension or add-on do it from the official web store.
- Use a Real-time Security Software: An active real-time anti-malware program is a must thing for which you should invest for the betterment of your computer system. As the program will frequently keep scanning your computer in search of any new threat, the vulnerability of security flaws and also keep you updated about the current status of your computer. Even a good anti-malware program will warn you about any malicious downloads or if you are attempting to visit a harmful website. And restrict any browser hijacker, browser hijacker or other forms of threat from being installed. But choose your anti-malware program wisely as there are lots of security programs available in the market but some of them may not provide you with full security.