What is a “Browser Hijacker”?
A toddler who has learned to find and play “Baby Shark” in 24 tabs in Safari? Well, maybe. The one we’re talking about is a bit more malicious (and not so easy to remove). It is just as preventable though as long as you know what to do (doo doo doo doo doo doo) and what to look for.
A browser hijacker can be a harmless annoyance (a really annoying one!) or it can be malicious, embedding itself deep in the file system of your computer, seemingly unremovable. There is no firewall, no anti-virus/malware program to guard against it or remove it. Once it’s installed, extracting it yourself could cause irreversible software damage.
There is a bright side, though! Actually, two bright sides.
One, you can prevent it yourself by knowing what to look for.
Typically, you will be on a legitimate website, click a link (that was placed there legitimately) and that’s where the “hijack” part comes in. Instead of taking you to the real destination of the link, you’re taken to a false site and a pop-up window will tell you your flash player (or some other common program) is out of date. Clicking “yes” OR “no” in the pop-up will install the file. Always click “X” to close the pop-up. It will look something like this:
Notice the URL. Always check it before downloading anything.
Two, a knowledgeable professional can remove it.
Because of the vulnerable nature of file systems, it’s best to have someone who does this many times a year remove it for you. We have seen an increase in these hijacks in the past month or so, which is why we are sharing this information, as a public service announcement. We have been able to successfully remove the hijacker installed files and restore PCs and Macs (yes, Macs are susceptible if you click the installer) to their former, unsullied state.
Our flat rate software repair for Macs and PCs is $75.
We hope you won’t need it – but if you do, you can count on TechRestore. We are always looking for the best solution for you and your desktop, laptop and handheld electronics needs.
Remember, if a popup asks you to install an update, BE SAFE! Go directly to the appropriate website for the real update. (For Flash, go to Adobe.)