Beginners Guides: Browser Hijacking & How to Stop It
you though Pop-ups were annoying, just wait until your web browser
is hijacked! In this guide, PCstats shows you how to regain control and
kick out the hijackers, kung-fu style... - Version 1.0.0
Bookmark this PCstats
guide for future reference.
hijacking is one of the web's constant dangers. Whether it arrives
in the form of a flood of obscene pop-up windows assaulting you
after a mistyped URL, or malicious code taking over your browser completely, chances
are good that every Internet user will be subjected to this practice
in some form.
Fortunately, avoiding a browser hijacking is not impossible if you stay aware, and take a few simple
precautions. Take the metaphor of locking your car doors while you are out for a
drive as an example. If your browser keeps
redirecting you to www.somerandomsite.com and you
are here looking for ways to cure what ails you, we'll cover that
To sum it
up, this PCstats Beginners Guide will
show you how to avoid and defeat these annoying and potentially embarrassing
attacks on your computer, starting with seven preventative measures;
- Use common sense
- Use and update an
anti-virus program regularly
- Use antivirus 'auto
- Keep an anti-hijack
'toolkit' for emergencies
- Change your Internet Explorer security
- Try an alternate browser
What's a browser Hijacker?
covers a range of malicious software. The most generally accepted description
for browser hijacking software is external code that changes
your Internet Explorer settings. Generally your home page will be
changed and new favourites will be added that point to sites of dubious
content. In most cases, the hijacker will have made registry changes to your
system, causing the home page to revert back to the unwanted destination even if
you change it manually.
A browser Hijacker may also
disallow access to certain web pages, for example the site of an anti-spyware
software manufacturer like Lavasoft. These programs have also been known to disable Antivirus and
browser hijackers take advantage of
Internet Explorer's ability to run ActiveX scripts straight from a web page.
Generally, these programs will request permission to install themselves via
a popup that loads when you visit a certain site. If you accidentally give
them permission to install, IE will execute the program on your computer,
changing your settings. Others may use security holes within Internet Explorer
to install themselves automatically without any user interaction at
all. Worse, these can be launched from popup ad windows which the user
has not even intended to view.
As well as making changes to your
home page and other Internet Explorer settings, a hijacker may also make entries to
the HOSTS file on your system. This special file directly maps DNS addresses (web URLs)
to IP addresses, so every time you typed 'www.pcstats.com' (as an example)
you might be redirected to the IP address of a sponsored search or
porn site instead.
hijackers may also install themselves onto your computer system as legitimate programs, leaving an entry in
the 'add-remove programs' list in the control panel. There are many faces of
broswer hijacking, and to combat the situation, you have to be aware of all the
tricks and loopholes that make this scourge possible. Browser hijacking isn't necessarily a
virus, and isn't necessarily adware, so stopping it isn't necessarily best left to
software monitoring programs either.
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