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Browser Hijacking And Spyware

Helpful tips for when you suffer from unwanted pop-up browser windows, or can't change your browser homepage.

Browser hijacking and spyware are not usually serious security problems, but they are extremely annoying methods of targeting you with unwanted material.

What is browser hijacking?
This may occur after straying onto unknown or unsavoury websites. A small file known as a 'Browser Help Object' automatically installs itself onto your system, without you knowing. This malicious file forces your browser to redirect to unsavoury websites, usually filled with advertising links.

The hijacking file may replace your default homepage with an unwanted advert or search engine site. You may also receive unwanted pop-up ads at regular intervals.

What is spyware?
Spyware is a type of computer program which monitors your web browsing. It is downloaded along with seemingly safe files and programs, self-installing onto your computer. The information it gathers is used to target you with pop-up adverts based on your browsing habits.

Try and visit mainstream websites that you know and trust.
Activate the built-in security settings of Internet Explorer, this will stop unwanted pop-up windows. View Microsoft’s tutorial on activating your security settings  
Look at well-trusted download sites such as Tucows for free or low cost anti-spyware programs.
Hastily download files from a website if you’re prompted, it could be spyware. Firstly examine any pop-ups that prompt you for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Some may not close until you click ‘yes’ or ‘OK’, then secretly download programs which dial premium rate numbers via your connection. If in any doubt, don’t download.  

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