The rise of cryptocurrencies has made a lot of people rich, but it’s also helped create a new breed of hackers and scammers determined to take advantage of the technology.
One scam to watch out for in 2018 is cryptojacking, which is when a website or a public Wi-Fi network hijacks your computer to mine cryptocurrency in the background. A single computer running mining software can’t do much, but an entire network of devices across the internet adds up fast.
It may sound like a weird joke, but cryptojacking can actually damage your computer or mobile device. The malware uses so much power that it can overwork the processor, plus, some hacker is slowing down your computer and taking the profits for themselves. Thankfully, there’s a pretty easy solution: just use a browser that blocks cryptojacking software from taking over.
Earlier this month, Opera added a cryptojacking protection to the ad blocker in its desktop browser. As long as ad blocking is switched on, you’ll be safe from this cryptocurrency scam. On January 22, the company extended the same feature to its Opera Mini app for Android and iOS, along with the regular Opera browser app for Android.
If you don’t feel like switching to Opera, you can also find third-party extensions for Chrome and Firefox that do the same thing. The only difference is that Opera’s version comes built into the ad blocker, so more people will end up using it even if they don’t understand why they should.
Opera also has a promotional website where you can see if you’re at risk of being cryptojacked, but all it does is confirm that you have a blocker running. If you are worried you’ve already been targeted by cryptojacking software, the best thing to do is check how much your processor is being used. If usage spikes when you go to a certain website you should probably avoid visiting it again until you have some protection in place.