Tech Tip Tuesday: Browser Hijackers

Have you been redirected?

Browser hijackers are a type of malware designed to change your browser’s settings. If you have a browser hijacker you might notice that your search gets redirected to a different website. Or you might see your homepage or search engine changed without your permission. Also, webpages will load slowly and you might see pop-up alerts for advertisements.

The browser hijacker seen in the picture above is a very common online hoax that involves displaying a fake error message followed by the phone number of a fake technical support service. Do not call or follow any instructions from a pop-up like this one! These pop-ups are a scam and are in no way related to either Microsoft or Windows OS support. The ‘engineers’ are the people responsible for this unwanted pop-up, and they will try to convince the caller to pay large amounts of money and install questionable software on the affected computer. However, there is nothing true in the pop-up.

These hijacker pop-ups may look genuine and convincing. The messages appear as banners, pop-up ads and sometimes they will feature coupons and deals for items that you are inclined towards. These messages are usually intrusive and most browser hijackers are particularly aggressive. On top of that, it may also be hard to get rid of.

Getting rid of  browser hijackers

Usually when trying to close a pop-up like this, the message will continue to pop-up and not close unless you open Task Manager, (right-click on an open space in the bar at the bottom of your screen and select Task Manager) select the offending task from the list and hit ‘End task’. Next, you should open Programs and Features from your Control Panel and look for toolbars and anything in the list that you don’t recognize. Be very careful when uninstalling programs and only remove a program after you have researched it and know exactly what it is. Last, you should run a scan from your antivirus and consider running a one time malware scanner, just to be sure.

As always, you can call NetLink Solutions to help you out at 918-893-9520!