How To Spot and STOP Browser Hijacking

Have you ever seen a movie where a criminal hijacks a car?

Sometimes they will threaten the person driving it to give up the car to them, or hotwire it when no one is looking and then speed away!

I always make sure to lock my car and park in safe areas so that I can prevent that from happening.

Today we’re not going to talk about car hijacking, we’re going to discuss browser hijacking!

Browser hijacking is when unwanted or unauthorized software is installed in your Internet browser, and then it is altered so others can use it to navigate online. 

Browser hijacking is typically used for advertising fraud but it could also be used to steal your information!

It could take you to specific websites where you enter your personal information, like a bank website or a popular shopping site. Once you enter your user ID, password, full name, address, social security number, financial information, and even the answers to your security questions, the hijacker can have access to all of that confidential data!

The purpose of browser hijacking could also be to spy on your browser search or display persistent ads for you to buy something. 

7 ways to spot if your browser has been hijacked

Has YOUR browser been hijacked? Here are 7 ways to spot if your browser is compromised:

  1. Your home page has been reset.
  2. You are bombarded with pop-ups or ads that are unrelated to the pages you are visiting online.
  3. Pop-ups or windows are telling you that your computer is hacked, or offering you Tech Support services.
  4. When you want to visit a specific page, the browser takes you somewhere else. It may seem like someone is redirecting or controlling how your internet browser behaves.
  5. You see new tools and unknown programs added on your browser that you never installed.
  6. Your Internet browser changed significantly, the page is different, or extremely slow and unresponsive.
  7. You can just feel something weird is going on.

If you agreed with more than one of these, chances are you’ve been hijacked! Before you go into a nervous meltdown thinking that you’re compromised and your life is over, take a deep breath. You are in charge of how you react to this cyber issue.

Remember how I mentioned that I lock my car with my keys to make sure it isn’t hijacked? There are certain “key” recommendations you can use that will prevent browser hijacking and help you assess the situation.

3 Key Recommendations to prevent browser hijacking

Here are 3 Key Recommendations to prevent browser hijacking: 

  1. Steer clear of free downloads and third party software. If you still need to install software, create a habit of reading the installation steps and check or uncheck settings that might be selected by default.
  2. Keep your computer and devices (including your Operating System and your browser) updated.
  3. If you are trying to open a web page and your browser or antivirus is blocking you from visiting this particular site (usually with a warning message), don’t ignore it! 

These simple ways will help you prevent Cybermonsters hijacking your internet browser. Remember you are in charge of your digital world to live Happily Ever Cyber!

Have you ever been hijacked? I look forward to hearing your story below!

Live Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok, CEO and Founder of Way2Protect | Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok

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