A browser hijacker (sometimes called hijackware) is a type of malware program that alters your computer’s browser settings so that you are redirected to Web sites that you had no intention of visiting. Some browser hijacking can be easily reversed while other instances may be difficult to reverse. Most browser hijackers alter the default home pages and search engines to those of their customers who pay for that service because of the traffic it generates.
More virulent versions often:
- Add bookmarks for pornographic web sites to your own bookmark collection
- Generate pornographic pop-up windows faster than you can close them.
- Redirect you to pornographic sites when you inadvertently mistype a URL or type in a URL without the www. preface.
Like adware and spyware, a browser hijacker may be installed as part of a freeware installation. In this instance the browser hijacker is more than likely mentioned in the user agreement though obviously not identified as a browser hijacker. A browser hijacker may also be installed without your permission, as the result of an infected e-mail, a file share or a drive-by download.
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