What is a Browser Hijacker?

If the default search engine, homepage, and other settings are randomly changing on your browser, it might be caused by a Browser Hijacker.

Let us know what Browser Hijacker is, how it got into your system, and how to get rid of it.

What is a Browser Hijacker?

A Browser Hijacker is an unwanted malicious program that infiltrates the system and modifies the browser's settings without user permission. This is primarily done for promoting an affiliated web page or controlling the browser for conducting other illicit acts. The aim of a Browser Hijacker is to generate revenue by redirecting users to certain pages and generate revenues by per visit or per click on the advertisement.

A Browser Hijacker can also act as spyware by tracking and recording the browsing activities of the user and sending them to the cyber attackers.

How Browser Hijacker enters your system?

Like any other malware, Browser Hijacker also enters your system through the following ways:

  • Downloading and installing freeware from untrustworthy sites

  • Installing the malicious web extensions.

  • Spyware can introduce a Browser Hijacker to the system.

  • Visiting illicit sites and clicking on ill-disposed pop-ups can result in Browser Hijacker installation.

  • It can also enter the system through a bundled program.

Symptoms of a Browser Hijacker

Your browser or system would show the following signs that would indicate the presence of a Browser Hijacker.

  • A new browser is automatically installed on the system.

  • The homepage of your browser is changed to some random page that you never visited. Even opening a new tab would redirect you to that random page.

  • The default search engine is changed to something else.

  • While browsing the internet you are redirected to random, suspicious web pages.

  • You are bombarded with lots of ads.

  • The web browser is randomly crashing because of the random opening of new tabs.

  • Web pages are loading very slow even though the internet speed is good.

  • There are multiple web extensions and addons installed on the browser without the user's intervention

How does Browser Hijacker Works?

After entering into your system, the Browser Hijacker would first take control of the browser's settings and alter it in such a way as to promote a particular webpage or search engine. Every search query you enter on the browser's search bar would redirect you to a random search engine.

A Browser Hijacker can silently track and collect your browsing activities such as search history, web page visits, login credentials entered, IP addresses, and more. These pieces of information can be used for conducting many illicit activities by cybercriminals.

How to remove Browser Hijacker?

To remove Browser Hijacker from your system, follow these steps:

  • Go to Control Panel and uninstall the suspicious and unrecognized applications.

  • On your browser take a look at the installed web extensions & add-ons and remove the one which you don't remember installing and the ones that you find notorious

  • Reset your browser settings to default

  • Clear the DNS cache of your browser. It can cut down the connection to the malicious system, and the browser hijacker might be nullified.

  • If you find the above steps overwhelming or if they didn't work for you, then get a robust security solution for the device. It would not only clear the Browser Hijacker but also the other malicious files related to it.

How to prevent Browser Hijacker from entering your browser?

It is better to prevent Browser Hijacker rather than tackling it after its infiltration. Following preventive measures can be taken to block the Browser Hijacker from entering your device.

  • Keep your operating system and browser updated with the latest versions. Cybercriminals take advantage of the loopholes in the outdated OS and browser to release the Browser Hijacker and other malware programs. Regularly updating can eliminate this risk.

  • Before installing an extension, check for its authenticity by going through user reviews and ratings. Although top browser like Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and others does not allow the malicious web extensions to get installed on their platform, still be careful while getting extensions.

  • Disable the JavaScript in the browser when not required. It can secretly load the malicious codes in the background and release the malware. Although, keep in mind that JavaScript is necessary for properly running certain websites and many web apps

  • Never go for the freeware listed on the untrustworthy sites and torrents.

  • Keep installed an antimalware program to block the entry of Browser Hijacker or any other malware program.