Browser hijacking is one of the less talked about security issues out there, but that doesn’t mean its effects can’t be damaging.
The typical browser hijacker malware will usually change your homepage to another homepage or display more advertising and generally slow down your browsing experience considerably.
In more serious cases, the browser hijacker will also install a keylogger or damage your Window’s registry files.
What causes a browser hijack?
The browser hijacker software was probably spyware, either designed to track personal data or adware that regularly pops up dubious advertisements. If you did install something, it might have offered you the option to decline the install, but it could have been displayed in a way that was deliberately confusing (after all, they want you to download the software).
Or you could have unwittingly visited an untrustworthy website. Usually your browser’s address bar will warn you in red if this is the case and your usual search engine (such as Google or Bing) would also probably have warned you too, but it still happens.
So if your browser has been hijacked, what can you do about it? The main thing to do is not panic. Seriously. We know it can seem like all your data is at risk but it probably isn’t. And in any case, if you are panicking about your data, it’s likely you haven’t got it backed up.
If not, you are not helping yourself! It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) – always back up your precious files, music, photos and videos. If you have continuous, cascading pop-up windows, then press [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del] on your keyboard.