Spyware: Spyware is a type of malware which is inserted by the attacker to a computer system without the knowledge of the owner. Spyware stays undetected and records keystrokes and other information of the users and sends it to the attacker. A spyware is usually downloaded from websites unknowingly by the user.
Browser hijacking: Browser hijacking is a type of spyware attack where the attacker takes control of the browser of a computer. You would know that your browser is hijacked when you see new toolbar installed to the browser window, default home page of browser is changed, list of bookmarks is changed in the browser, default search engine is changed in the browser, when you see ads in the browser, or any other weird activity which isn’t suppose to happen in your browser.
You can suspect there’s a spyware in your computer if you see any one of the following:
1) New icons in desktop: If you see new icons in your desktop (which you have no idea from where they came), then you can suspect there’s spyware activity in your computer.
2) Default search engine is changed: If the default search engine of your browser is changed automatically, then a spyware might be th reason for it.
3) Weird pop ups: If you see weird pop ups while working in your computer, then it’s definitely because of the spyware.
4) New toolbar is added to your browser: If you see that there’s a new toolbar added to your browser then it might be because of the spyware.
5) Default home page of browser is changed: If the default home page of your browser is changed automatically, then a spyware might be the reason for it.
6) Default media player is changed: If you open a media file and it doesn’t open with the default media player which is set up then you might suspect of the spyware activity.
7) List of bookmarks is changed: If the list of bookmarks is changed in your browser it might be that there’s a spyware installed.
8) Advertisements: If you see ads anywhere in the computer, then it is definitely the work of a spyware.
To make sure that your computer is protected from spyware and browser hijacking, follow these guidelines.