2017 and 2018 could probably be the extreme rise years of cryptocurrencies. We have seen a huge rise in most of the cases and while it has become a boon for many but it also has its own bad cases. With the very high selling price of cryptocurrencies these days most people are using it as an easy way of gaining money quickly. And what could be a better way than mining to generate cryptocurrency easily? And if you are worried about your pc being mined, here is how to check if your PC is being mined!
So What Exactly is Coin Mining?
In very simple words, Coin Mining is nothing other than stealing your computer resources to generate new and lucrative coins. Your CPU and GPU are used to mine cryptocurrencies and that too without your consent in most cases. When a cryptocurrency transaction is announced to a blockchain network, computers on that network starts solving complex mathematical puzzles to check and confirm whether the currency has already been used or not. Furthermore, even if your PC is being used for mining cryptocurrencies, you don’t even get a single penny. Also, in past, there have been numerous cases of infections in the system from malware-infected crypto mining tool.
Is Your PC being Mined to Generate Bitcoins?
In most cases, the answer is No! Your PC is not being used to mine Bitcoins. Some cryptocurrencies like Monero and Dash are relatively faster and easier to mine. Moreover, they require fewer resources than other cryptocurrencies. Monero and Dash generally don’t require high-performance specialized computers to process the transactions.
Whereas, on the other hand, mining Bitcoin is extremely slow and a lot more complex process. To process the transactions of Bitcoin a lot of CPU and GPU power is required. If someone has to mine bitcoins on your PC the resource usages will increase a lot. Even simple tasks like browsing the web will become impossible and very much frustrating. Moreover, if you are using a laptop the battery consumption will go up drastically.
None of these should be done without your consent and Tech Hundred highly opposes highjacking someone’s computers. So, here’s how you can find out if you are helping someone else by unknowingly sharing your computing power.
How to Check if Your PC is being Mined?
Check CPU Usage
So for this, you will require a resource monitoring application. In most cases, the default system resource monitoring applications work just fine. In MacOS, it is known as the Activity Monitor and if you’re a Windows user then look for the Task Manager.
To open Task Manager on your Windows PC just simply right click on the taskbar and select task manager. Now from the performance tab, you can check the resources being used.
On a Mac, you have to open Activity Monitor by searching for it in the spotlight, press the command and space bar to open Spotlight. Or you can open it from Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Now click on the CPU tab to check CPU usage.
Note: CPU usage in MacOS is the sum of system and user usages.
Should You Block Coin Mining?
If you want to stop websites from mining your computer or not it is totally up to you. But it should be also made clear that not all user-driven mining is bad. Most of the times it is completely harmless. But the problem is how websites are doing it – without your consent, illegally or with your consent?
If a website is clear to its viewers about the fact of mining then it is not a problem, to be honest. In case if you are not a fan of advertisements this could be a great trade-off. There is no harm in allowing to use the unused CPU and GPU power of your computer to harness cryptocurrencies for a limited time (as long as you are on the website). Coinhive, for example, is such readily available script for the developers which can deploy and mine cryptocurrency Monero.
How to Stop Coin Mining on Your PC?
Assuming that your PC doesn’t have any malicious coin mining program installed there are few options to block coin mining while you are browsing a particular website.
There are adblockers extensions available which can simply filter out the known type of mining scripts. As mentioned earlier, Coin Hive is such a mining script. It is not really a malware. Although it can be kept underneath to silently to mine coins. However, the developers of Coin Hive encourages website owners to disclose Coin Hive’s presence. Adblockers like Adguard and Adblock Plus will scan if a site is having Coin Hive and will alert users about it.
3. Coin Mining Blockers
If you are not interested in using Adblockers and just want to block the mining script part only then Coin Mining Blockers could come in to use. We have listed out four of the best extensions available to do this along with their links.
These extensions blacklist the known domains and mining scripts. Moreover, they are regularly updated as well. On the good side, if you want to support a website by allowing it to mine then you can just whitelist it.
4. Anti-Malware Software
While it is easy and simple to block website based coin miners but it could be tricky to detect malicious installers on your PC. For that, you can use anti-malware software like Malwarebytes which offers cryptocurrency blocker with their premium subscription.
So, what is your opinion about mining? Let us know in the comments below.
Also, have a look at our comparison of Firefox Quantum vs Chrome vs Edge: Battle of The Best Browsers 2018