Having your internet browser altered—or even hijacked—thanks to some malicious malware or adware is certainly no laughing matter. But sadly, it is something that continues to happen to millions of online users on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, though, for some people, it may not be obvious to them that the browser—that they use to surf the worldwide web—has been tampered with or intercepted in any way. Therefore, it is important that you add a browser hijacker removal tool to your browser/device to prevent issues caused by adware, spyware, and other malware known for hijacking your browser.
Throughout this short article, you will learn about some signs to look out for which may indicate that your browser may have been hijacked in some way.
What benefit is there to someone who hijacks your internet browser?
You may think to yourself, how do these hijackers benefit from hijacking my internet browser?
Well, in fact, it can be a significantly profitable ‘business’ for these criminals, as they effectively end up making money when you click on links that—basically—should not be on the web pages that end up being on.
How do you know if your internet browser has been hijacked?
It can be—at times—difficult to notice that your internet browser has been hijacked. Therefore, it is important to understand what some signs are that may indicate that such an incident has taken place.
One of the clearest indications that your browser may have been exploited—and intercepted by hijackers—is if your internet browser’s home page appears to be different to the one that it was originally set to, or the customized one that you had set it to open at.
Another sign that may point towards a potential browser hijack is that the toolbars, which usually feature at the top of your browser page, appear to be different to the ones that you would usually see there. The same may also apply to the bookmarks and favourites, that you find sitting underneath the website address bar, or if you were to manually open the list of saved bookmarks for your browser.
Along with the above being potential signs that your internet browser has been hijacked, you may also notice that the speed at which your browser operates, and carries out internet searches, has significantly decreased from the speed at which it usually operates.
This is also a potential signal that malicious adware or malware has attached itself to your browser. If you are still wondering exactly what browser hijacking is, check out this Wikipedia explanation.
How can you check whether your internet browser has been hijacked?
One of the things that you can do to check whether your browser has been hijacked – or not – is to go to your browser’s settings, which on Google Chrome means clicking on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser window.
Once there, you should navigate your way to the setting that allows you to see, and change, your browser’s search engine. If you find that there are names of search engines that you do not recognize, you should delete each one of these, as they may have appeared as a result of browser hijacking. If your browser has been hijacked, it could also open the doors for hackers to get into your email, gaming accounts, and record keystrokes, so they can hijack your financial accounts.
Take a look at the extensions of your internet browser
It is important that you regularly check the list of extensions attributed to your internet browser to check that the ones that are currently installed are the ones that should be. You can do this by typing in ‘chrome://extensions’ into the website address bar, if you are using Google Chrome as your browser.
Once you click enter, you should then have a list of all of your browser’s current extensions in front of you, which would allow you to manually remove any that you do not recognize, or that look suspicious to you.
However, if you find that once you have made such amends to your settings, and that you are still seeing the same extensions, or toolbars, for example, that you had manually removed, then your computer may have a slightly more sophisticated piece of malware attached to it. For this reason, you may need to use particular security—or antivirus—software to remove the malicious malware.