A browser hijacker is a potentially unwanted program, usually a web browser add-on or plugin, that modifies web browser’s settings in order to change the default search engine, the start page or the new page. It can also redirect users to its affiliate websites and record their browsing activity, search terms, mostly visited websites and similar information, which is additionally revealed to related parties. It can be said that all browser hijackers are created for commercial reasons, so they shouldn’t be used for searching the web. The most of these parasites are very similar to adware-type programs, so they both should be avoided. If you want to protect your privacy and improve your PC’s security, you should remove browser hijacker from the system. Navigate to browser hijacker parasites
Browser hijackers differ from regular viruses. They do not spread like viruses do, so you can prevent their infiltration. There are three major ways that are used by browser hijacker to get into the system.
Freeware, shareware or ad-supported programs. Beware that there are lots of suspicious download managers, video streaming programs, video recording programs and similar free programs that can be used for promoting suspicious browser add-ons or toolbars. Even reputable products can be set to trick people into changing their default web browser’s settings.
Adware-type programs. These potentially unwanted programs have also been used for spreading browser hijackers as optional components. First of all, we don’t recommend downloading adwares to the system. However, if you think that intrusive ads is not a bad thing, you should monitor installation of such software because you can easily be tricked into letting a browser hijacker to your PC system.
Misleading pop-up ads. Some part of browser hijackers have been spreading around with the help of fake ads that report about missing updates. If a pop-up notification is claiming that your Java, Flash Player or FLV Player is out of date, you should ignore it because it can easily be used for distributing unsafe programs, such as browser hijackers. Once the victim clicks on such a pop-up, harmful script instantly installs hijacker, which alters system’s settings.
Parasites mostly affect Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers. However, if you are dealing with the most aggressive browser hijacker, it can be designed to compromise any other browser, like Safari or Opera.
- Web browser’s changes. Such PUPs are mostly used to change the default search engine, the home page and the new tab page without asking user’s permission.
- Error page changes. Browser hijackers can set their own page instead of web browser’s page, which is usually displayed when user enters the invalid website address.
- Redirects. Such potentially unwanted programs are capable of showing altered search results for redirecting their victims to predetermined websites.
- System’s modifications. Hijackers can try to change essential web browser’s settings and decrease its security levels or speed in this way.
- Tracking of user’s web browsing habits. Typically, browser hijackers are used to record such data as users’ mostly visited websites, data that they add when visiting them, computer’s IP address, its location, etc. Once such data is collected, it is sent to a remote server.
- Complicating one’s web surfing. Browser hijackers may block reputable Internet websites, trusted domains and redirect users to different web sites instead of requested ones.
- Degrading overall stability and performance of the browser. Some hijackers may waste too much computer’s resources and may conflict with installed applications.
- Avoiding removal. Typically, browser hijackers provide no uninstall option and hide from the user in order to prevent their removal.
There are plenty of different browser hijackers. The following examples illustrate their typical behaviour.
MyStartSearch is a widely spread pest that redirects Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and other web browsers to predetermined web sites. It may also display misleading and undesirable advertisements that promote suspicious PC optimization tools and other questionable web sites. The most of browser hijackers are quite similar to MyStartSearch and therefore are not very dangerous.
Delta-homes.com is a way more aggressive browser hijacker. It is a third-party search engine, which is compatible with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers. The most important thing is that it has been showing altered search results and fake pop-up ads for its users. If you failed to notice how this browser hijacker changed your start page and the default search engine, you should remove delta-homes.com from your computer. Otherwise, you can be tricked into downloading other dangerous programs to your computer. Beware that it can also start tracking you and may fail to leave your computer. That’s why you should choose automatic removal method.
Omiga Plus is other great example of browser hijacker. It has been spread without users’ consent and then used for affiliate marketing campaigns. Beware that it can be used to redirect you to suspicious domains that can be filled with a large amount of undesirable commercial advertisements. If Omiga-Plus.com redirects have started interrupting you, you need to get rid of it because you can never know what sites and programs it promotes.
The most of browser hijackers are capable of turning users’ web surfing on the web into a real nightmare. Typically, they block the most often visited sites, fail to display required information, show altered search results, decrease web browser’s security levels, track users’ browsing on the Internet, etc.
Browser hijackers can also affect the system and previously installed software. In addition, they can cause instability issues, frequent errors and overall performance problems. Some reputable applications and browser plug-ins may be also affected by browser hijackers and their activity on computer.
Some of these potentially unwanted programs can also try to violate user’s privacy. They track user’s browsing activity and collect personally non-identifiable information. Once it is collected, it is revealed to advertisers and other third parties. Fraudulent people can also use browser hijackers to track their victim and know their names, contact information and other priceless data, which can be used for unclear purposes.
As it was said above, the most effective method to remove browser hijackers is automatic removal method. These programs should never be kept on your computer because there are lots of dangerous activities that the can try to initiate. To remove them, you can use one of these effective anti-spyware tools: SpyHunter, STOPzilla, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. These programs have been showing great results when trying to remove all potentially unwanted programs, including browser hijackers.
However, on rare occasions, even a reputable spyware remover can fail to get rid of a particular parasite. That is why there are Internet resources, such as 2-Spyware.com, which provide manual removal instructions helping people to delete viruses manually. However, manual removal requires fair system knowledge and therefore can be a quite difficult task if you are inexperienced PC user.