Slow Browser? It May Have Been Hijacked By Malware
By: Jim Stickley and Tina Davis
January 22, 2023
Before calling your internet provider to complain about a slow browser think about this: It’s no secret malware loves to hide in all kinds of things like adware, spyware, scareware, and fake browser updates. Finding your browser is not only slow, but also acting strangely is a sign something isn’t quite right. Internet providers have a standard toolbox they use to find if a slow browser is a result of their service. But if after going through their suggestions your browser is still sluggish, it’s time to think outside of the box. Malware may be the culprit.
Other than being slow, some of the warning signs malware may have hijacked your browser are easy to spot. Odd things like being redirected to a different home page or strange toolbars popping-up on your browser is a sign of malware. Seeing new bookmarks and tabs you didn’t create is also a symptom. Having an unusual number of pop-ups indicates adware (advertising malware) is present on a device. Pervasive pop-ups often contain even more strains of malware and clicking on them is an easy way to catch a virus. The following suggestions can shed some light on the situation, including being cyber-smart and malware-free.
Check Engine Tips
- Review your browser extensions, also called “add-ons.” They provide helpful features to many functions but if infected, they can install malware. Try to limit the number of extensions you use. Most browsers allow you to custom install them, so review what’s already installed on your browser. Go through the list and see what functions they perform. If any look out of character or suspicious or you simply don’t need them, delete them or turn them off.
- Run antivirus software. Performing a deep dive looking for malware is never a bad idea. If a virus is detected, antivirus security software should remove it. If you don’t have antivirus software, get it. Make sure to shop around for features and prices before buying or downloading.
- Keep antivirus and other software updated as soon as updates are released, including the latest security patches. System updates and patches often contain fixes for vulnerabilities including malware.
- Try blocking ads. Ad blocking software is abundant these days. Consider installing it to keep all the ads from popping up everywhere. This also helps prevent accidental clicks on ads.