What is it and is it dangerous? Browser Hijacking is another way for scammers to get in contact with you to take advantage of you by getting information that should not be shared. This is a form of malware used to modify your web browsers settings to redirect you somewhere you did not intend on going.
How are they collecting your information? Well is easy, most people see a company name they're familiar with, see a number to help them with this strange situation, and call the number. They'll give you some false information stating you have to pay so much money for your machine to be unlocked and they'll even have you download a viewer software so they can have full access and control to your machine. Once they have access they can go in and get passwords for online banking and anything else that's available to them. Getting a card number allows them to spend your money until you notice or your bank flags it and gets ahold of, causing a lot of damage if they're successful.
Now you might be thinking, how do I know if its a browser hijacker? When you click on a link that is malware, it will "take over" your whole machine. Meaning it will seem like you cant close out of the program, use your mouse or anything. Out of all the ones we see here at the shop, that's usually not the case. Every browser hijacker case we've seen here in the shop looks a little something like this...
Microsoft Defender is the most popular browser hijacker you will see, yes even with Apple computers. The easiest way to get rid of this fake alert is to follow these simple steps -
Hold, ctrl, shift and esc at the same time. This should open your Task Manager.
Find the program you're using. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox etc. and select it so its now highlighted in your task manager.
At the bottom right there is a button that says "End Task", select that and it should go away.
As far as staying safe on the internet, the biggest advice we can give is to, Know Where You Are. Do not click on the ads that pop up on the sides of your page, avoid links that have Ad listed under them and steer clear of any websites you don't know.
If you are unable to get out of this by following the steps above, bring your machine to us here at PC Touchup!