Browser Hijacker

A browser hijacker is a malware intended to hijack your browser, redirect you to certain pages, and alter your settings. A browser hijacker can force users to use new search engines each time, making it very inconvenient to switch between pages.

Certain browser hijackers can even go as far as generating ad revenue with your browser. They do this by redirecting you to websites riddled with ads, effectively creating more revenue for those target websites. Others can be quite worse, like spyware which collects personal data to launch a sophisticated cyberattack.

How to detect a browser hijacker

Browser hijackers are easy to detect. The most popular and visible symptom is a new default search engine or home page. It may also try to redirect you from sites you want to visit to random websites that automatically start to download files to your device. It’s especially concerning if you can’t change these settings on your browser.

Another sign of this type of browser malware is that it spreads through all the browsing apps on your device. One browser acting up might mean there’s something wrong with the software. But if all of your browsers are redirecting you from the websites you want to visit, you most likely have malware.

How to prevent browser hijackers

  • Don’t download any software from third-party platforms or unknown sources. Back up any download decision with ample research. 
  • Stay up-to-date with the activities in your device, ensuring that you note any suspicious behaviours. Malware can be hidden but will manifest in slowness or unknown app icons. Take action to scan and remove any traces.
  • Take advantage of any robust VPN’s threat protection feature to combat malware hidden — either in a downloaded file or otherwise.