If your computer has been slow to respond lately, it may be from a new kind of malware, which uses your system to mine cryptocurrency. This form of attack is called cryptojacking, and uses the processing power of your system to virtually mine for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The attackers then sell this for cash. The worst part of this is that you may not know your computer is doing this. All it takes to fall prey is visit the wrong website, or click on a malicious ad.
As far as viruses and malware are concerned though, cryptojacking is about as harmless as it gets. Sure, you would be left wondering, “Why is my computer so slow?”, but there is not the problem of data being deleted or personal information being stolen to deal with. In fact, this only runs when your browser has a bad webpage open. However, it is still something your computer should not be doing, because it costs you terms of processing power. Following are some ways to stay safe from cryptojacking.
Ensure you are Running Anti-Malware Software
Many anti-malware programs will block attacks from cryptojacking websites, including Avast, Malwarebytes, Norton, Trend Micro, and Webroot. Make sure that you have one of these installed. Most of them are free for home use. After you install the antivirus, keep it updated so that it can fight off the latest forms of the attack.
Install and Use an Anti-Cryptojacking Browser Extension
Blocking cryptocurrency mining is one of the things they have browser extensions for, both for Chrome and Firefox. These generally work by blocking specific known cryptominers, which means there is a chance that attacks can still sneak in. However, there will be less of it going on, and extensions are less intrusive than script blockers. One of the best extensions is No Coin for Chrome and Firefox.
Don’t Run Scripts on your Browser