If you often surf the Internet, use Microsoft Windows operating sytem and Internet Explorer web browser, then you’re in big danger. Not only spyware and adware parasites can violate your privacy, but also a variety of different browser hijackers pretend to complicate your web surfing and steal your valuable personal information.
Usually, hijackers are installed by malicious sites and illegitimate advertising software. Sometimes they can be dropped by spyware and other pests, so if you suspect that your browser is hijacked, scan the system: there can be more dangerous threats in it.
If you do not know, what is this all about, we’ll try to explain what does browser hijacking definition mean. Browser hijacker is a parasite that changes default home and search pages, alters various web browser settings, bookmarks suspicious sites, decreases browser security level or even disables certain browser functions. Some hijackers display advertisements, track user activity in the Internet or perform other harmful actions. Often various spyware, trojans, etc. combine hijacker functionality with their initial functions.
Most hijackers compromise Internet Explorer. There are very few pests that infect its rivals. The reason – different technologies used in browsers. IE implements advanced support for ActiveX and Visual Basic scripting, while others simply do not support it. Moreover, IE earned a disrespect for plenty of critical security issues found in it. The best way to prevent browser hijacking is to stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer and switch to Firefox, Opera or Mozilla Suite. The most dangerous hijackers cannot affect these browsers.
However, if you prefer IE or have to use it, you still can avoid hijacking:
1. Use the most recent version of Internet Explorer. Install all available updates, security patches and service packs. Don’t forget to keep your Windows and MS Office up-to-date also. You should use the most recent OS version, because Microsoft refuses to provide hot updates for IE running on older systems. For home PC it is Windows XP with Service Pack 2.
2. If you need Java support, install the most recent official Sun Java package. It is more secure than Microsoft Java virtual machine available in some Windows versions by default.
3. Within Internet Explorer navigate to Tools>Internet Options…>Security and press Custom Level button. Here you will need to modify current security settings. Disable unsigned ActiveX controls and .NET components, Userdata persistence, Access data sources across domains, turn off all automatic software downloads and installs.
4. One more time take a look on all Internet Explorer settings and disable what you don’t need. Do not afraid to experiment, you can always turn everyting on again.
5. Install advanced third-party firewall program (ZoneAlarm, Sygate or another). Windows XP SP2 default firewall is not so powerful and will not protect you completely. If you don’t want another product, leave Windows XP firewall turned on, do not disable it!
6. Install advanced antivirus software. You should scan the system once per week.
7. And the last, but not least. INSTALL ANTI-SPYWARE PROGRAM! Only this piece of software will help you to get rid of browser hijackers and other dangerous parasites. It is highly recommended to use only trusted legitimate anti-spyware programs, such as SpyHunter, Ad-Aware or Microsoft AntiSpyware.