While Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, there are many others. However, all of them need to be mined – a simple term that actually means cryptocurrency units need to be decoded which implies all of their encrypted segments (hashes) need to be decrypted.
As you might suspect, this requires a lot of processing power and some groups and individuals came up with sneaky solutions of using other people’s computers for cryptocurrency mining. A user might be unknowingly mining cryptocurrency for a third-party while they visit a certain website. This practice is known as cryptojacking. A lot of these infections target your web browser, but this can be prevented if you block Bitcoin mining in your browser.
How to block Bitcoin mining in your browser
Interestingly, some websites actually admit they’ll use your browsing session to mine cryptocurrency and even specify how much processing power they will use. However, this is not something everyone does.
If you’d like to block Bitcoin mining in your browser, start by checking if this is something that actually happens. For example, your PC’s performance might lower while your browser is running and that’s a sign that shouldn’t be ignored.
To make sure your verifications are accurate you should first disable all your browser’s running extensions. Once you do that, open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), navigate to the Performance tab and click the “Open Resource Monitor” link at the bottom of the window.
Navigate to the Overview tab and allow it to run undisturbed for 15-30 minutes. This will give you a baseline for your system’s performance while idle. After that, you can browse your favorite websites and check the Resource Monitor every once in a while or when you feel like the system is getting sluggish.
There may be spikes occasionally, which is something normal. However, if you see a consistent performance increase, it means one of the websites you’re visiting are using up too many of your system’s resources.
An overheating computer is also a sign that a large portion of its resources is being used. You can easily monitor your hardware’s temperatures using a free tool such as HWMonitor.
It can be difficult to find the exact websites that are using your computer’s processing power to mine cryptocurrency. A more practical solution would be to block Bitcoin mining in your browser which would prevent any website from running mining scripts.
minerBlock is a straightforward Chrome extension that monitors mining activity in your browser, as well as blocks any detected activities of this kind. While it works out of the box, you can also set up a custom whitelist.
If you’re using Firefox, you can give CoinBlock a try, which works just like minerBlock.
No Coin is a tool similar to minerBlock, but it also lets you allow miners for a limited time should you need to bypass a shortlink or a captcha that requires mining. It also has a whitelist you can customize.
As tempting as this might be, it’s not a good idea to install more than one extension that blocks bitcoin mining because they all work towards the same result but they might lower the system performance, something we were actually trying to prevent. No Coin is also available as a Firefox extension.