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How to Prevent Your Browser Being Hijacked for Cryptocurrency Mining

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As cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in popularity over the past year or so, related industries have also seen a boom. Cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related startups have launched left and right, supported in many cases by initial coin offerings earning millions of dollars. And digital currency mining operations have proliferated as well. Reports have swirled about website owners harnessing the CPU power of their visitors in order to run their own cryptocurrency mining scripts without the Internet users’ knowledge or consent. Here are a few ways to help prevent websites from taking your CPU power without you knowing. (Related: Showtime Websites Used Visitors’ CPU Power for Crypto Mining)

No Coin Extension

Google’s Chrome web browser has a special extension which users can adopt in order to prevent cryptocurrency mining from happening unwittingly. No Coin is an open-source extension that FossBytes.com calls a “reliable and safe way to control how a website is interacting with your web browser.” No Coin will search any website for possible mining activity and alert you if any such processing is occurring. The extension will allow you to block or whitelist those websites as you prefer.

MinerBlock Extension

Similar to No Coin, minerBlock is an extension for the Chrome browser which is also open-source and which prevents cryptocurrency mining in your browser. Like No Coin, minerBlock will alert you when you travel to a website that may be using your CPU power to mine for digital tokens. If you wish to proceed in spite of the warning, you’ll be able to disable the blocker with a simple click.

Block Domains With Ad Blocker

Web browser extensions used to block advertisements can also help you to block domains for other reasons too, including sites that are looking to steal your CPU power. AdBlock is a popular extension which allows you to block an ad or website by inputting a particular URL. The downside with this method of blocking mining is that you’ll have to be able to tell whether the site is participating in this scheme on your own. Check your computer’s activity monitor to look for spikes in CPU usage upon visiting certain websites.

NoScript Extension

If you use Firefox to browse the web, you may have some luck blocking unauthorized CPU mining with a JavaScript-blocker extension such as NoScript. One caveat about using an extension like this is that it may affect harmless websites which happen to use JavaScript as well. It’s possible that you would find that other websites simply won’t work, as NoScript is too wide-ranging in its efforts to block Java usage.

Regardless of the method you use to control your CPU usage, it’s becoming more and more of a concern for Internet users everywhere. This is only likely to increase as cryptocurrency use grows more widespread.

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