Block Cryptocurrency Miners in Your Web Browser
This practice of “mining” your web browser for bitcoin sounds unrelated to your online safety, but there’s more to it. Discover the risks to you.
Cryptocurrency miners use complex algorithms to retrieve digital coins, which can then be used to pay for goods, services or advertisements to keep a website afloat. But, this technology is sometimes used at your expense on websites fueled by cryptocurrency miners, thus using your CPU power for their benefit.
There’s a number of ways to avoid cryptocurrency miners from increasing their profit at your expense and here’s what you should know.
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Is My PC Being Used for Mining Cryptocurrency?
It’s hard for the untrained eye to tell whether or not your computer’s processing power is being used by miners to attain cryptocurrency, but one easy way to find out is by monitoring CPU usage. If your computer is acting especially slow, preventing you from using your browsers or applications effectively, you may be the victim of mining.
A way to notice this is happening is when a sudden, massive spike in CPU usage occurs for no apparent reason. Chances are it’s almost certainly cryptocurrency mining going on.
How Chrome Users Can Protect Themselves
Companies have designed a variety of add-ons and extensions on Google Chrome to combat cryptocurrency miners. One extension is called minerBlock, which blocks any activity while you surf the web.
The extension lists various websites that are known for cryptocurrency mining and stops the mining from happening. MinerBlock is constantly updated as new domains are identified with mining every day.
‘No Coin’ Is Also Effective
Another Chrome app worth considering is No Coin, which is a free and open-source answer to online cryptocurrency mining. The extension monitors whether or not there is mining activity on a particular website, protecting your CPU from being used in an efficient manner.
When using your browser, No Coin shows you pop-ups that detect if mining is happening, with a red symbol offering you the opportunity to block the mining. You can also use it to whitelist a website for a specific period of time.
Consider Paying for Anti-Malware
Some anti-malware and antivirus programs are also designed to stop cryptocurrency miners in their tracks. Although the integrated Windows Defender antivirus software doesn’t stop mining, there are other products on the market that do offer an alternative to protect your laptop or home computer from shady mining practices.