Your web browser is your window to the internet, so it’s no wonder that malicious actors want to hijack it for their own nefarious purposes. A hijacked web browser can result in unwanted pop-up ads, changes to your home page or default search engine, and unexpected redirects to malicious websites. In extreme cases, a hijacked web browser can even lead to your computer becoming infected with malware.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent your web browser from being hijacked, or to fix a hijacked web browser.
1. Keep your web browser and all of your other software up-to-date. Malicious actors often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to hijack web browsers. By keeping your software up-to-date, you can close these vulnerabilities and make it more difficult for your web browser to be hijacked.
2. Use a reputable security suite. A good security suite can help protect your computer from malware, including the kind of malware that is used to hijack web browsers.
3. Be cautious about the websites you visit. Some websites are more likely to host malware than others. Avoid visiting websites that are known to be associated with malware, and be careful about clicking on links from unknown or untrustworthy sources.
4. Don’t click on pop-ups or other advertisements. Many web browser hijacks are caused by clicking on malicious advertisements. If you see a pop-up or other advertisement, don’t click on it.
5. Use a web browser that includes built-in security features. Some web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, include features that can help protect you from malware. These features won’t prevent all malware, but they can add an extra layer of protection.
If your web browser has already been hijacked, there are a few things you can do to fix it.
1. Restore your web browser to its default settings. This will remove any unwanted changes that have been made to your web browser, including changes that were made by a hijacker.
2. Change your home page and default search engine back to their original settings.
3. Remove any unwanted or unknown extensions or add-ons from your web browser.
4. Scan your computer for malware. If your web browser was hijacked by malware, it’s possible that other parts of your computer are also infected. Running a malware scan can help identify and remove any malicious software that may be present on your computer.
5. Restore your operating system to its default settings. If your computer is infected with malware that cannot be removed, you may need to restore your operating system to its default settings. This will delete all of the files and programs on your computer, so be sure to back up your important data before proceeding.
By following these simple steps, you can help prevent your web browser from being hijacked or fix a hijacked web browser.