Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Hijacking the Web :: Browser Hijacking Internet Technology Essays
Hijacking the Web There are certain things we take for granted. The sun will rise in the morning. I will go to class from 8 to 9:30 in the morning. My cat will greet me at the door when I get home. I will start up Internet Explorer, and Yahoo.com will appear as my homepage. All of those events happened last Tuesday except for one. As a frequent user of the Internet, I like specific settings for the programs I use. I have personal preferences set for AOL Instant Messenger, Outlook Express, and especially for Microsoft Internet Explorer. As sad as it may be, I have a routine when I get home from class. The first thing I do is check my email. Then I browse the news on Yahoo.com. I like to know what is going on in the world, and Yahoo News provides that information. However, last Tuesday when I started up Internet Explorer, Yahoo.com did not appear as my homepage. Instead, I was taken to an alternate search engine, one I had never heard of. Since I am so particular in my Internet settings, I knew for a fa ct that it was not I who had changed my start up page. Author Mike Healan and many others describe this practice as hijacking. Ã¢â¬Å"There is a despicable trend that is becoming more and more common where the browser settings of web surfers are being forcibly hijacked by malicious web sites and software that. . . modifies your default start and search pagesÃ¢â¬ (Healan). Naturally, I went to the options menu and changed the home page back to Yahoo.com. Thinking far too highly of my computer savvy skills, I thought I had fixed the problem. Wednesday afternoon rolled around, and I proceeded with the usual routine: sun, class, cat, Internet, etc. At my computer, I started up Internet Explorer expecting to see the all-to-familiar Yahoo website on my screen. To my shock and horror, the anomalous search engine popped up in YahooÃ¢â¬â¢s place. I will spare the reader from repeating the long string of colorful metaphors that I used in reaction to seeing this. Nevertheless, I knew that I would have to resort to more drastic actions. In my Writing for the Web course, the topic of spyware was discussed at length. One student recommended a piece of freeware that prevented malicious programs from changing settings and sending unwanted information to various shady businessmen.