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A browser modifier is a type of malware created for the sole purpose of hijacking and modifying a Web browser’s settings. Browser modifiers are installed when users inadvertently click pop-up messages without reading the content that explains how to cancel the pop-up.
This term is also known as a browser hijacker, although the latter may refer to malware with more malicious, rather than mischievous, intentions.
Sometimes a malicious pop-up may display a message such as “click Cancel if you do not want to leave the site.” By clicking cancel, the user is actually accepting the message. This is a very basic trick used by malicious websites to hijack Web browsers.
A browser modifier changes the browser's default home page or error page, forcing it to redirect to a specific website, allowing that website to gain traffic and consequently more profit. Some browser modifiers change the fonts, appearance and other aspects of the browser, often to promote advertisements or promotions. Other modifiers just change browser settings so that they look horrible in an effort to annoy and distress the user.
A browser hijacker is the best example of a browser modifier, and the two terms can be used interchangeably. However, a hijacker tends to have more malicious intentions, such as leading users to websites that could harm their computers.
Browser modifiers can be avoided by declining to click on pop-ups.