The consequences of such unauthorized activity depend on how long the virus stays on the system. The longer hijacker displays the annoying ads...
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A thin line between a virus and a PUP
Thousands of new viruses and their upgraded strains are leased on a daily basis. Some of these parasites are more dangerous than others. It applies to ransomware-type threats, banking Trojans, etc. In the meanwhile, others balance somewhere in-between. Does a website that changes a homepage without your permission count as a virus? Security experts are not particularly unanimous about the terminology. However, they all agree that programs that behave this way are better to be kept at bay.
Browser hijacker – it’s a more technical term to refer to the browser-focused programs. Usually, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They may offer convenient online search services. However, once they enter the system, they start promoting certain products or websites. That’s how they generate advertising revenue to their creators. Launchpage.org is one of such malware examples.
Main characteristics of browser hijackers
This virus manifests all the typical browser hijacker behavior:
- Infiltrates computers by hiding itself inside freeware and shareware packages;
- Replaces homepage and default search engines of all installed browsers;
- Imitates Google search engine this way misleading victims into using it;
- Displays altered browsing results, filled with sponsored links and pop-ups;
- Redirects users to random domains in order to boost their traffic.
What are the consequences?
The consequences of such unauthorized activity depend on how long the virus stays on the system. The longer hijacker displays the annoying ads, the more destructive the results may turn out. For instance, you may unknowingly land on some deceptive website and be tricked into downloading some dangerous program.
Essentially, browser hijackers create conditions for other PUPs to infiltrate computers easier. Thus, having your PC infected with a browser hijacker you will be one step closer to a malware attack.
To increase your computer’s defense, you should stay away from suspicious third-party software. Such software includes toolbars, browser extensions and other browser helper objects. It is also highly recommended to upgrade your operating system. If it is running a version no longer supported by the vendor, make sure you download updates without wasting your time. It is just as important as keeping your all installed software up-to-date.