Symptoms of browser hijack/infection
Browser hijacking is a potentially serious security issue. If a hijacking program has taken hold of your browser, any personal or sensitive information stored within it is seriously at risk. Browser hijackers also often make it impossible for you to use your browser normally, and can open up your computer to a host of additional infections. However, most hijackers are easy to spot once you know what to look for.
1. Browser hijacker changes homepage of web browser and prevents user from modifying it.
Changed homepage of a web browser is the most obvious and the most common symptom of residing browser hijacker. It modifies the homepage and it keeps changing it to the same predefined address if user attempts to change it into some regular website.
2. It redirects web browser to unwanted websites.
Web browser may keep redirecting people to certain websites. Browser hijackers usually open fraudulent websites or websites related to online sales. Some of these websites might be malicious and they might be able to infect computers.
3. It redirects web searches to unwanted websites.
Browser hijacker may redirect victims to fake online search results. It may also mimic online search engine in order to trick people into visiting malicious websites.
4. It loads commercial/deceptive pop-ups.
Browser hijacker may load annoying pop-ups trying to attract visitors to certain websites. Sometimes it may keep generating the pop-ups in large amounts so people can close neither the advertisements nor the browser.
5. It blocks security tools.
Some of the browser hijackers are able to block security programs in order to prevent user from deleting the malware. This kind of hijackers usually promotes fake security tools or fraudulent applications.
6. It changes Favorites/Bookmarks.
Browser hijacker may add new entries on the Bookmarks or Favorites lists. This is usually done by hijackers that promote adult websites, drugs selling websites, fake online search engines and similar internet sources.
7. It modifies the HOSTS file.
Some browser hijackers may modify the HOSTS file to make sure victim ends up visiting predefined website instead of certain address (i.e. it may redirect user to certain porn website every time the victim types google.com).
So be careful while browsing.