Browser Hijackers


browser hijackers

What are browser hijackers?

Browser hijackers are adware/malware programs that change the way your web browser behaves. They can:

*replace your homepage and/or error page with its own,

*add their own items to your Favorites/Bookmarks list,

*display unwanted toolbars

*hijack your search queries and provide you their own, usually low quality, results.

Browser hijackers usually perform all these actions in order to generate revenue from presented advertisements or additional traffic rerouted to their affiliated sites. What is worse, most browser hijackers effectively prevent the user from changing back the browser settings, making it almost impossible to turn things back to the way they use to be.

Needless to say, having a browser hijacker on your PC will eventually make browsing the Internet impossible. They should be removed immediately.

Hijacked browser - How to tell if you've been infected

Generally, browser hijackers aren't very dangerous, but they are extremely annoying. The unwanted effects of having a browser hijacker installed include the following:

*browser hijackers usually lower security settings of the web browser,

*you may be unable to log in to some restricted sites,

*search queries may give you false results, preventing you from visiting high quality websites,

*you may be redirected to spyware-infested sites and risk spyware infections,

*because of frequent redirection, no parent control over the web surfing habits is possible,

*browser hijackers may slow down your PC to the point when it becomes unresponsive and makes using the computer virtually impossible.

Protecting your PC against browser hijacks

Surprisingly enough, it is very easy to protect your system from browser hijackers. Just make sure to follow the rules presented below.

*Use specialized anti-spyware tools such as STOPzilla - they are also 100% effective against browser hijackers. Remember that having security software is not enough - you have to keep it updated and schedule scans at least once a week to stay safe.

*Watch what you click at! While there are some browser hijackers that install themselves using browser's exploits, most of them are downloaded by users themselves. Whenever you see a pop-up window offering you something, close it by clicking "X", not "No" - this may lead to downloading malicious software, including browser hijackers. Never trust a pop-up or any sort of program that asks to be downloaded from a suspicious site. Many adult sites are responsible for a good percentage of the browser hijacks that happen, but you don't even have be visiting an adult site to fall victim to browser hijacks. They can come attached in an email message or from a piece of freeware you downloaded from a site like or On those sites, however, there is usually a warning if a program comes with adware/spyware or a browser hijack. A good example is Kazaa.

*If you still can't cope with browser hijacks, consider switching to other browser - most hijackers target only Internet Explorer and user of Opera or Mozilla Firefox are relatively (but not completely) safe. There are also a good half dozen other browsers that you can use that are more resilient than Microsoft's.



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