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How to protect your device from Cryptojacking

by Felix Omondi

There is nothing out there on the internet that clearly underscores the point, ‘there’s nothing like a free lunch’ than cryptojacking. Even the one place where ‘bad people’ go to in order to get for free, Pirate Sites, have turned into cryptomining dens, where unsuspecting visitors walk in only for their devices’ processing power to be hogged up without their consent.

One of the world’s leading torrenting site, The Pirate Bay has been caught red-handed by numerous security experts cryptojacking visitors’ computer resources to mine Monero coin. The site later confessed having done so on its official blog. Though it claims the JavaScript that implemented the mining were “only a test” they were conducting to reduce the site’s reliance on Ads as a source of revenue. “[W]e also need enough money to keep the site running,” said the admin.

How to protect your Device from Cryptojacking

Ideally, cryptomining through websites should be a win-win deal for both the site owner and the visitors. However, site owners are too aggressive, sometimes running the JavaScript long after the user has left the website and is even offline. I believe this qualifies to be termed when ‘s#&t hits the fan,’ and therefore, you need to take matters into your own hands and protect yourself.

Chrome extensions to block cryptominers

Good old Chrome is often the first browser to get nifty extensions. You can install minerBlock and No Coin extension on your Chrome browser to keep your computer processing power safe from hijacking by these unethical players.

However, if you feel compelled enough to play it fair with some of these site owners, you can whitelist some websites to be allowed to run cryptomining when you visit them. These would be websites that you feel serve a good cause, and you don’t particularly mind lending your computer resources to help them make some money to remain in business.

Chrome users can also try out ScriptSafe

Visitors on Firefox

Visitors using Firefox browser can use the JavaScript-blocking extension NoScript.

Where the problem with Cryptomining arose

Cryptomining on other people’s devices is not a crime in itself, per say, but the fact that the sites are hijacking your computer resources without letting you know is the problem. Though if some of these sites (such as The Pirate Bay) could do away with those awful ads and find a better way of generating revenue – even if it means cryptomining on visitors computers – not that many people will mind, as long as ethics are not thrown out of the window.

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