Browser Hijacker Virus
There are many different types of unwanted and problematic software programs that can cause various problems to the users’ computers and to their online privacy. However, not all undesirable programs out there are malicious and dangerous PC viruses. There are many programs that are regarded as unwanted due their intrusive and irritating behavior but are typically harmless for the computer system. A collective term used to describe such software is PUP (potentially unwanted programs).
There are different types of PUPs – bloatware, adware, custom browser toolbars, fake/ineffective system optimization tools, etc. In the present article, however, we will be focusing on the so-called browser hijacker software category. Applications of this type normally function like extensions for the majority of browser programs – IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome. etc. They tend to replace the homepage and the search engine of the browser as well as cause redirects to different pages without asking for the user’s permission. Aside from that, it is also possible that some hijackers also try to display intrusive and irritating ads inside the user’s browser whenever a new browsing session gets started. Adware programs are also known for doing this. In fact, the difference between Adware and hijackers is mostly the ability of the latter group of software to alter certain aspects and settings of the targeted browser.
Hijacker issues and how to deal with them
Now, it is easy to see why one might not want a browser hijacker on their computer – it can be extremely annoying and even frustrating to have your main browser modified in ways that typically reduce the overall quality of the browsing experience. The imposed new search engine, for example, might generate altered/modified search results in order to push certain sites and pages and increase their view count instead of actually showing you the most relevant results for your search. The worst part of all that is the fact that it might not be possible to revert the changes while the hijacker is still in your computer. Some browser hijackers could be rather aggressive and might prevent you from overriding the unwanted changes. In some instances, even if you manage to bring your browser back to normal, it is likely that the next time you open the browsing program or reboot your PC the hijacker would have re-introduced its obstructive modifications. That is why it is typically best to simply eliminate such pesky software as this is the one most effective method for dealing with its irritating activities. If you ever need help with a hijacker application, know that you can use the guide on this page in order to fully uninstall and remove the undesirable software – just make sure to closely follow the instructions and in case you need some additional help you can also use the recommended anti-malware tool from the guide or ask for out aid using the comments section below.
The majority of browser hijacker applications are actually quite safe and harmless – they normally contain no malicious code and are primarily used as advertising tools through which their developers are able to accumulate income. However, we must mention that there could still be certain risks if you have a hijacker inside your machine. The one thing you should be the most careful with are the adverts and the page-redirects. It is not a secret that malvertising is a very common method for distributing malicious viruses like Trojans and Ransomware and although most of the advertising content coming from a hijacker should generally be safe, you can never be too sure. Therefore, it’s best if you avoid clicking on any ads or interacting with the contents of any pages that the hijacker app has brought to your screen.
Ways you could get a hijacker installed on your computer
There are numerous techniques used for spreading such software – spam messages, fake/misleading online offers and adverts, obscure or low-quality programs, sketchy sites, torrents, etc. The practice of bundling additional applications with a certain program’s installer is another popular distribution method for the hijacker software category. In such cases where bundling is used, the potentially unwanted software is put inside the installer of another program and enabled by default under the Quick installation configuration. This is, of course, the option that most users go for. However, it is also the one you should actually abstain from using if you want to avoid getting unwanted programs on your computer. Instead of opting for the Quick setup, use the Advanced/Custom alternative where you will see all of the bundled applications and you will have the ability to leave out of the installation those of them that might be undesirable and unwanted. That is why, we advise you to always use this option in order to customize the installation so that you’d only get the program/s that you actually want to have in your system.