The dangers of browser hijacking

The dangers of browser hijacking

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are always a target for cybercriminals. One of the most popular ways cybercriminals can gain access to your data is through browser hijacking.

In this blog post, we will discuss what browser hijacking is, how to identify a browser hijacking attack, and how your SMB can protect itself against this type of attack.

What is browser hijacking?

Browser hijacking is when a malicious actor takes over your browser and changes your homepage, default search engine, or other settings. They do this for the following reasons:

  • To show you unwanted ads
  • To track your online activity
  • To redirect you to a website that they own or are affiliated with, either to generate revenue through advertising or to phish for your personal information
  • To install malware on your device
  • To use your browser as a bot for DDoS attacks or other malicious activities

These changes can happen without your knowledge or consent, which is why it’s important to be aware of the signs of a browser hijacking attack.

How can you identify a browser hijacking attack?

The following signs may indicate that your browser has been hijacked:

  • Your homepage or default search engine has been changed.
  • There are new toolbars or extensions that you didn’t install.
  • Your browser is slower than usual.
  • You are redirected to strange or unfamiliar websites.
  • Pop-ups and new tabs appear more often.

If you notice any of these changes, run a virus scan to check if there is any malware on your device. Usually, an antivirus program will be able to detect and remove adware and spyware for you. But in some cases, the antivirus might be unable to remove the malware completely, in which case you may need to reinstall your browser to regain control of it.

In extreme cases, browser hijacking can lead to data loss or theft, so it’s crucial to understand the risks and take steps to protect your business against this type of attack.

Related reading: 7 Signs that your business is vulnerable to cyberattacks

How can your SMB protect itself against browser hijacking?

Browser hijacking can be particularly dangerous for SMBs that lack the resources to adequately protect their networks. The key to keeping your business safe is to educate your employees about the risks of browser hijacking and train them on how to identify an attack.

You should also consider the following tips:

  • Use a secure web browser. Choose a web browser that has built-in security features, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. These browsers can block most malicious websites and prevent unwanted changes to your settings.
  • Keep your browser and operating system up to date. By running the latest versions of your software, you can address any vulnerabilities that may be exploited by cybercriminals.
  • Use a reputable security solution. A good antivirus or anti-malware program can protect your devices against the latest threats. Update your security software regularly to maintain the highest level of protection.
  • Be cautious when installing new software or browser extensions. Download programs and tools only from trusted websites, and read the terms and conditions before you install anything on your devices.
  • Don’t click on links in emails or text messages. If you receive a suspicious message, don’t click on any of the links or attachments. These could be malicious and clicking on them could lead to your device becoming infected.

Exercising due diligence can go a long way in protecting your SMB from browser hijacking and other cyberthreats. By following the tips above and staying informed about the latest risks and trends in cybersecurity, you can ensure that your business is better equipped to defend itself against attacks.

Complete Document Solutions can help your SMB get started on the path to cyber resiliency. Contact us today to learn more.

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