Browser Hijacking

The term browser hijacking is used to indicate that someone has changed some of your browser settings without your permission. They may change your home page, favorites, or other browser settings. Many times this action is done by spyware or adware programs running on a computer.

Sometimes browser hijackers do little damage and are easy to remove while other browser hijackers do a lot of damage or cause a lot of annoyance and are very difficult to remove. Sometimes the removal of a browser hijacking program requires the Windows registry to be edited.

Some security experts say that the solution to preventing browser hijacking is to stop using Internet Explorer. However the author of this bage contends that ther is no substitute for user education. Many vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer including the highly acclaimed Firefox browser are either created or made worse by poor security settings in these browsers. Current versions of both Internet Explorer and Firefox are installed with default settings that are not secure. For example in Firefox version 1.06, under the menu selection of "Tools" and "Options" if you click on "Web Features" and examine the second line of the page you may see something interesting. There is a selection which states "Allow web sites to install software". The author of this document discovered this checkbox to be checked by default. It was only the anti-virus program operating in real time that prevented the installation of a trojan from a website.

The best thing to do to prevent browser hijacking is to become familiar with how to configure your browser and computer to prevent exploits against you. For information about how to configure your computer internet browser and computer security see: