How Cryptominers Use Your Computer Without Your Consent

People are both kind and malicious. Those who are virtuous are sometimes said to be so because they lack the opportunity to cheat. Evil deeds may be as old as humanity itself, and it’s even safe to say that it is part of human nature.

In the world of technology, this sense of malice and evil is best evident in how computers, companies, hackers and just plain old curious enthusiasts intrude into your online privacy, dig your information and use it for their profit. It’s been a problem for many years now. It’s now more complicated with the rise of cryptominers.

 

What Are Cryptominers?

Cryptominers are relatively new, but their plan is simple: to profit from your data. They’re more than hackers. They’re business professionals who install malware or software on your computer without you knowing. They are secretly piggybacking on the processing power stored into your CPU to confirm transactions that earn them money without giving you anything.

This entire big money industry of digging into your computer to process commercial transactions is called crypto mining, and its primary goal is to tap into your computer power to sell or buy products online. This is an oversimplification, but the point is, money is made without your knowledge, and your computer files are compromised. This is not normal. This is not safe. You should do your best to protect your privacy from the said crypto miners.

How To Check Your Vulnerability

The price of extreme technological progress is compromised privacy. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do anything about it. Fighting for your online privacy requires vigilance and constant battles. To know if you and your computer data are being taken advantage of, you can do the following tricks:

  1. Update your Operating System

You may get a better, more secure protection for your computer files if your operating system is updated with the most sophisticated software freshly released by your service provider. Whether you use Windows or Apple, it helps to always get the most updated software and apps. The anti-virus and other malware protection you get from an updated software are highly valuable.

  1. Monitor CPU Power Consumption

You know if you’re currently being mined by cryptominers if there’s a lot of power usage on your computer despite inactivity. You can see the level of activity of your computer in various ways. One way is to open Task Manager if you’re using Windows, and on Max, open up your Activity Monitor.

  1. Update Power Consumption Settings

If you’re having a problem locating the settings above, you can directly go to Google, type in the keywords How To Open Task Manager or Activity Monitor search bar and open the resources from Wikihow or other reliable sites.

Anyway, once you’re already in your Task Manager, watch how much CPU usage your computer is exerting. Look closely at the spike changes in the amount of processing power that your CPU is using when you’re on a particular website. Check if the usage is dramatically high when the site you’re visiting is supposedly light. Try to compare it with opening your email.

If the website you’re visiting is oddly consuming a lot of power, chances are miners are digging into your computer for their business.

It’s not that easy to confirm what level of computing power is normal, but if you’re also closing all your computer apps but your instinct and observation tell you that your CPU usage is high, that’s also a red flag. Somebody may be using up your computer power. You may also have a cryptomining problem.

It may take a while before you can spot the problem with this method because you have to observe you’re normal power usage first. After setting a reference point, you can now compare it to find out for a spike in power use.

  1. Javascript Disabled

Javascript might be helpful for your cloud files in Google Drive or when you want to use in-browser apps, but it may not be the safest plug-in to use when you want to prevent your computer from the malicious hands of cryptominers.

Disabling Javascript from your web browser will help defend your computer from malware intrusion. This is also a proven tactic to shoo away the miners off your computer. However, it takes a bit of technical know-how to learn to disable Javascript. Google will be your ultimate help. Just type in the search engine “How to Disable Javascript on Windows/Apple” and follow the reliable sites that are reputable, which include Wikihow, Wired and Google Products forum.

There are different ways to disable your Javascript, and they may often be updated, so it’s better to send you the keywords instead of a link to the article because the link we send may no longer work. Knowledge runs fast in tech.

  1. Install Adblockers

You know those pop-ups that Google may not be able to stop? The use of Adblockers can help you stop them so that you can experience the web in a less annoying way. Did you know that Adblockers do more than that though? They’re far more sophisticated, more valuable and most importantly more useful than you think. In protecting you from cryptominers, their use is proven effective.

Security software ESET explained in a detailed white paper that your computer could be mined by crypto miners just by visiting you’re, say, favorite website about cats or the news portal you check out regularly. Although once you leave the website, you can stop the data and cryptomining. Some ad-blocking software that helps block crypto miners is also able to stop in-browser malware even without closing your browser. This makes an ad-blocker a powerful tool against crypto mining.

It’s Not About Bitcoin

The usual suspect for crypto mining is the digging of bitcoin, but it’s not the real culprit. What most crypto miners are looking for when they intrude into computer systems is a privacy-focused coin called Monero, which is right now gaining a considerable market share of up to $1.3 billion. It’s one of the latest cryptocurrencies today that have reached a rise of the price of about $140, which started from $15 in January.

Conclusion:

It’s a highly competitive world out there, and it gets even more complicated when people’s malicious intent gets in the way. With the usual problems that people face in technology, it helps to get empowered. The tricks above are examples of empowering tools in technology. The tricks above would hopefully help you fight cryptomining.

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