Browser hijackers are certainly among the least desirable pieces of software one might have the chance to run into. Today we’ll be examining a certain browser hijacker representative – Loadpages.com “Virus” – due to the numerous complaints we’ve been receiving from users regarding this particular program. Usually an infection is always spotted in the same way and pretty much always it comes as a complete surprise. Normally, a user will open their Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera or other browser to find that the familiar homepage is no longer there to greet them. Instead, it’s been replaced by a new one, as has the default search engine been replaced by a new and unfamiliar one. What’s more, people also notice the systematic page redirects to various sponsored pages that their browser initiates without their request or approval. And what tends to panic people the most is the fact that even after they’ve rest the settings in their browser of choice to their previous state, the browser hijacker settings are only reintroduced automatically the very next time they open their browser. But not to worry – our removal guide will show you exactly what you need to do in order to remove Loadpages.com “Virus” and all its annoying settings with it.
What do browser hijackers do?
Well, you’re already gotten acquainted with the most obvious activities of Loadpages “Virus”, including the display of numerous box messages, banners, popups and other types of online adverts. But what’s the purpose behind them? Profit is the main driving force behind any browser hijacker: both for the vendors and distributors of the many products and services that are promoted on your screen and for the browser hijacker developers, as well. While the former gain more exposure for their services and products, and thus more potential customers, the developers profit directly from the number of clicks on the said ads. This is made possible thanks to a popular remuneration scheme better known as Pay Per Click or PPC. And this system is primarily what determines the behavioral principles of programs like Loadpages.com “Virus”.
What we mean by that is the means that these programs tend to employ in order to maximize gain. One of the most controversial techniques that browser hijackers are notorious for is their ability to monitor your browsing patterns. What’s more, they actually tend to extract data from them, especially related to your recent search requests and the websites you tend to bookmark, favorite or just visit on a regular basis. In addition, the kind of content you demonstrate interest in is also something of concern for hijackers, as all of this information will essentially let it know what type of its many ads will have higher chances of attracting your attention. So, in effect, the hijacker will modify the ads its displays so as to match each individual user’s personal preferences. However, the problem with this is that nobody would like to be pried on in such a way, hence this can very much be considered a privacy invasion.
Are there any dangers?
Let’s first get one thing straight. Programs like Loadpages are very often referred to as viruses, because people tend to jump to rash conclusions, rather than examine the facts. Browser hijackers are decidedly not viruses or malware of any kind. They aren’t completely harmless either, which is why they fall into the category of potentially unwanted programs or PUPs. They do tend to exhibit rather hazardous traits, however. For example, due to the large amount of ads these programs generate and the rapid rise of threats like ransomware, it is possible that you may end up exposed to actual malware. This can happen because hackers and cybercriminals tend to prefer online ads as a means of distributing their harmful viruses. Thus, one wrong click on a compromised end can have dire consequences for your machine.
Aside from keeping away from potential malware sources like the said ads, you would do well to also take the necessary precautions against future browser hijacker infections, too. These programs rely heavily on program bundles for their successful distribution, so mind your download sources and be sure to always customize the installation process of any new programs you’re about to install. That way you will be able to opt out of any added components, such as hijackers or adware.
Loadpages.com “Virus” Removal
Search Marquis is a high-profile hijacker – you might want to see if you’re not infected with it as well.
You can find the removal guide here.