Browser hijacker is one of the common problems faced by Mac users. It is a type of malware that changes the user’s browser settings without their consent. These changes may include modifying the homepage, search engine, or installing unnecessary extensions.
This article will guide you with some effective steps to get rid of browser hijacker on Mac and maintain a secure browsing experience. So, let’s dive into the steps and explanations.
Steps to Remove Browser Hijacker on Mac
Step 1: Update your Mac
The first step to safeguard your Mac against browser hijackers is to keep it updated. Like any other operating system, Mac too has its share of vulnerabilities that get fixed with updates. So, open the App Store and check for any pending updates.
Step 2: Uninstall Suspicious Apps
Browser hijackers often come bundled with other apps that you might have downloaded from untrusted sources. Therefore, open the ‘Applications’ folder and remove any suspicious app that you doubt might be causing the hijacking.
Step 3: Remove Suspicious Extensions
To remove any suspicious extensions from your browser, open the browser’s menu, select ‘Preferences,’ and then go to the ‘Extensions’ tab. Look for any unfamiliar or suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
Step 4: Uninstall Plug-ins
Plug-ins are small software programs that work with browsers to enhance their functionality. However, some plug-ins might be infected with malware. Therefore, open the browser’s settings and look for any malicious plug-ins to uninstall them.
Step 5: Clean the Cache and Cookies
Step 6: Reset your Browser
If none of the above steps work, reset the browser to its default settings. This will delete all the extensions, cookies, and cache, and restore the browser to its default form. Go to the browser’s settings and find the reset option.
Step 7: Scan your Mac with Anti-malware
If the browser hijacker persists, run a scan of your Mac with anti-malware software. It will detect any malware and remove them.
Step 8: Disable ‘Allow Apps Downloaded from Anywhere’
By default, Mac allows installing apps from both App Store and unidentified developers. However, keeping the setting to ‘Allow apps downloaded from Anywhere’ makes your Mac more vulnerable to malware. Therefore, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and select the App Store option only.
Step 9: Avoid Visiting Shady Websites
The best way to prevent browser hijackers is to avoid visiting shady websites that might infect malware. Always use trusted sources for downloading software.
Step 10: Enable Firewall
Firewall acts as a barrier between your Mac and the internet. Enabling it can prevent unauthorized access to your system, and hence, prevent browser hijacking. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and enable the Firewall.
Step 11: Enable Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring a password and a code sent to your device for access. It prevents unauthorized access to your accounts, including browsers. Therefore, enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.
Step 12: Back-up your Data
Suppose you have taken all possible measures to safeguard your Mac against browser hijacking, but still, your system gets infected. In that case, you need a backup to restore your data. Therefore, regularly back up your data to an external hard drive or cloud storage.
Browser hijacking is a type of malware that alters the user’s browser settings and redirects them to malicious sites. It can be challenging to detect them as they often come bundled with other apps or extensions. However, there are several steps that you can follow to get rid of browser hijacker on Mac and prevent further attacks.
The first step is to keep your Mac updated to fix any known vulnerabilities. Uninstall any suspicious apps or extensions and reset your browser to its default settings if needed. Also, regularly clean the cache and cookies and use anti-malware software to scan your Mac and remove any malware.
Furthermore, enable the Firewall, Two-factor authentication, and backup your data regularly to prevent further attacks and restore your data in case of any damage.
Tips and Tricks
Tip 1: Use a Reliable Anti-malware Software
Using a reliable anti-malware software can protect your Mac against any known and unknown malware attacks.
Tip 2: Never Download Software from Shady Websites
Avoid downloading software from untrusted sources that may infect your system with malware.
Tip 4: Use a VPN
A VPN encrypts your online traffic and protects your data from unauthorized access.
Tip 5: Opt-out of Unnecessary Services
Opt-out of unnecessary services or features offered by any app or website to prevent malware attacks.
Tip 6: Enable Automatic Updates
Enabling automatic updates ensures that your Mac gets updated with the latest security patches.
Tip 7: Keep a Hard Copy of Important Documents
Keep a hard copy of important documents to ensure you don’t lose them due to any malware attack.
Tip 8: Use Strong Passwords
Always use strong passwords for your accounts and never share them with anyone.
Tip 9: Don’t Click on Suspicious Links
Avoid clicking on suspicious links sent over emails or text messages as they might contain malware.
Tip 10: Keep your Mac Clean
Maintain a clean and organized Mac, delete any unnecessary files or apps to keep it lightweight and secure.
In conclusion, protecting your Mac from browser hijacking requires continuous vigilance and proactive measures. Follow these 12 steps and adopt the tips and tricks mentioned in this article to maintain a secure browsing experience.
Advantages of Removing Browser Hijacker from Mac
Browser hijacker is a malicious software that can disturb the browsing experience of a Mac user. It forcefully redirects the user to unwanted websites, installs additional software without permission and collects user data. Removing a browser hijacker immediately can benefit the user in several ways. Some of the advantages of removing a browser hijacker from Mac are:
- Improved Browsing Experience: Removing a browser hijacker can enhance the browsing experience by eliminating unwanted ads, pop-ups, and redirects.
- Improved System Performance: Browser hijackers consume system resources and slow down your Mac. Removing them can improve system performance and speed up your Mac.
- Increased Security: Browser hijackers have the potential to steal sensitive information, including browsing history, passwords, and credit card details. Removing them can improve your online security.
- Prevents Further Malware Infection: Browser hijackers are often used by hackers to install other malicious software onto your Mac. Removing a browser hijacker immediately can prevent further malware infections.
- Saves Time and Money: Removing a browser hijacker can save time and money spent on unnecessary software, pop-up ads, and other related issues.
- Restore Browser Settings: Removing a browser hijacker can restore the browser settings to its original state and can eliminate all unwanted toolbars and extensions.
- Prevents Fraudulent Activities: Browser hijackers can redirect users to fraudulent websites that can trick users into entering confidential information. Removing them can prevent any fraudulent activities.
- Eliminates Unwanted Software: Removing a browser hijacker can eliminate any unwanted software installed without the user’s permission.
- Increases Productivity: Removing a browser hijacker can increase productivity since the user can browse faster and without any unwanted interruption.
- User-Friendly Browsing: Removing a browser hijacker can make browsing user-friendly, and the user can freely access all desired websites without any interruption.
Disadvantages of Removing Browser Hijacker from Mac
Removing a browser hijacker from Mac can have some disadvantages, which are as follows:
- Loss of Stored User Data: Removing a browser hijacker can lead to loss of stored data like cache data, passwords, and cookies.
- Error in Browser: Removing a hijacker can lead to an error in the browser settings, and the user may require to reconfigure them.
- Cannot Access Some Websites: Removing a hijacker can lead to blocked access to some websites that are infected with malware.
- Cannot Use Some Browser Extensions: Removing a hijacker can lead to the deactivation or loss of some useful browser extensions.
- Cannot Use Some Toolbars: Removing a hijacker can either deactivate or eliminate the useful toolbars.
- Browser Setting Errors: Removing a hijacker can lead to error settings in the browser toolbar, and the user may require reconfiguring settings.
- Limitations to Browser Functionality: Removing a browser hijacker can limit or reduce the functionality of the browser.
- Cannot Access Some Information: Removing a browser hijacker can lead to restricted access to some confidential information that hijackers steal and store.
- May Require Professional Help: Sometimes, removing hijackers can be complex and require the help of a professional IT expert, which can be quite expensive.
- May Require Multiple Cleanups: Removing a browser hijacker may require multiple cleanups since hijackers keep reinstalling themselves.
1. What is a browser hijacker?
A browser hijacker is a type of malware that changes your default search engine, homepage, and new tab settings without your permission or knowledge.
2. How does a browser hijacker infect my Mac?
Browser hijackers can infect your Mac through various sources such as free software downloads, malicious email attachments, and fake software updates.
3. Can a browser hijacker cause harm to my Mac?
Although browser hijackers do not directly harm your Mac, they can make it vulnerable to other malware. Additionally, they can compromise your online privacy by collecting your browsing data.
4. How can I tell if my Mac has a browser hijacker?
If you notice sudden changes in your default search engine, homepage, or new tab settings, it is likely that your Mac has been infected by a browser hijacker.
5. What are some common browser hijackers that infect Macs?
Some common browser hijackers that infect Macs include SearchMine, Trovi, and Bing Redirect.
6. How can I remove a browser hijacker from my Mac?
You can remove a browser hijacker from your Mac by using antivirus software, resetting your browser settings, or uninstalling any suspicious software from your computer.
7. Can I prevent browser hijackers from infecting my Mac?
Yes, you can prevent browser hijackers from infecting your Mac by being cautious when downloading software, avoiding suspicious websites, and keeping your antivirus software up to date.
8. What should I do if my antivirus software fails to remove a browser hijacker?
If your antivirus software fails to remove a browser hijacker, you can try removing it manually by following online guides or seeking professional help.
9. Will resetting my browser settings remove a browser hijacker?
Yes, resetting your browser settings can remove a browser hijacker. However, it may also delete your bookmarks and saved passwords, so be sure to back them up before resetting your browser.
10. What should I do if my search engine is still redirecting me after removing a browser hijacker?
If your search engine is still redirecting you after removing a browser hijacker, you can try flushing your DNS cache or changing your DNS settings.
11. Can I use a VPN to protect my Mac from browser hijackers?
Yes, you can use a VPN to protect your Mac from browser hijackers by encrypting your internet connection and hiding your online activity from prying eyes.
12. Is it safe to download free software from the internet?
Downloading free software from the internet can be safe, but you should always be cautious and avoid downloading from suspicious websites. Always read reviews and check the reputation of the software before downloading.
13. What should I do if I suspect that my Mac has been infected by malware?
If you suspect that your Mac has been infected by malware, you should immediately run a virus scan using your antivirus software and take steps to remove the malware. Additionally, you should change your passwords and monitor your bank accounts and credit cards for any suspicious activity.
How to Get Rid of Browser Hijacker on Mac
If you’re a Mac user, you may have encountered a browser hijacker. A browser hijacker is a type of malware that takes over your browser and redirects you to unwanted websites. It can be frustrating and annoying, but there are ways to get rid of it. Here are some tips on how to get rid of a browser hijacker on your Mac:
Getting rid of a browser hijacker on your Mac can be an easy process if you follow the right steps. The first step is to identify the source of the problem and remove any unwanted applications or extensions. You should also update your browser and install antivirus software to prevent future infections. Remember to always be cautious when downloading applications or visiting unfamiliar websites. Keep your Mac and your browser up to date, and you’ll be able to enjoy a safe and secure browsing experience.
We hope that this article has been helpful in guiding you through the process of getting rid of a browser hijacker on your Mac. Remember that prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your Mac and your online activities. As always, stay safe and happy browsing!