Clickjacking constitutes a relatively old online trend – it first emerged back in 2008 – that implies tricking the website visitor into clicking on a hidden element of the page. At first glance, you might think that there are no major risks related to this illicit practice and that clickjacking is a nuisance at most. Granted, you most likely won’t upload your social security number or the safety passwords of your online banking account to the webmaster’s database just by involuntarily clicking on a hidden link. Not immediately, at least.

How clickjacking websites draw in visitors

Most frequently, the visitor logs into what appears to be a completely legitimate website to view a picture, watch a movie, download a file, listen to a song, etc. The website will often advertise exclusive content, which is typically fake, like free early access to a game, a leaked celebrity nude, a pirated version of a newly released movie, so on and so forth. This category of content falls under the category of “click bait”, in the sense that it appears to be so attractive that most people won’t resist clicking the link and logging onto the website.

After the trap is sprung
Once you are on the clickjacking website, you won’t notice anything strange, as the interface is what you’d expect from a legitimate site. All the action buttons are there, in form. However, they don’t do what you’d expect, like for instance play the video you wanted to see.

Underneath the facade, the website’s code is written to perform the actions intended by the webmaster. This can be anything from redirecting the viewer to a different website to drive traffic and inflate ratings artificially to likes/follows on social media networks or even download malicious software onto your hard drive. Or all of the above, for what you know!
Unfortunately, if the clickjacking is designed to spread malicious software, there is no way to determine whether your antivirus software and firewall is able to detect and eliminate the threat. Backdoor applications, Trojans and worms are abundant online and virus protection freeware isn’t always up to the challenge.

How to minimize the risks of becoming a victim of clickjacking

The 3 steps you can take to reduce the chances of being “click-jacked” comprise of:

  • Avoid websites that promote ‘too good to be true’ content, particularly if it’s exclusively available there, because in 99.9% of the cases it’s just click bait
  • Update your web browser to the latest version available from the developer, because it will feature new security suites to address the latest online threats discovered; don’t forget about your add-ons and plug-ins to minimize vulnerabilities
  • Update your web browser to the latest version available from the developer, because it will feature new security suites to address the latest online threats discovered; don’t forget about your add-ons and plug-ins to minimize vulnerabilities

Install a free or paid anti-clickjacking software package – the paid ones usually contain a more comprehensive set of features – and keep it updated
In closing, it’s necessary to point out that webmasters and developers should also be on the lookout for potential clickjacking elements whenever they install a certain script or application on their pages. At the same time, coding the webpage in a manner that doesn’t permit facile clickjacking is recommended.

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