Browser Helper Objects – also commonly known as BHO – are components of Internet Explorer.
BHO is like an add-on that provides the capability to expand Internet Explorer’s functionality and allow developers across the globe to add new and improved features to Internet Explorer.
The BHO is similar to the add-on that we observe in Mozilla Firefox.
Nowadays, we find BHOs for most web-based applications.
For example, we would have BHO for Yahoo messenger, MSN messenger, Skype, etc. These BHOs allow the user to have extended functionality from the browser and make it easier to navigate through those sites via BHOs directly from their web browser.
BHO is nothing but DLL installed on the system and has access to all kinds of browsing activities that you perform through the browser.
Initially, when Microsoft launched support of BHOs, they were developed with a good purpose in mind. But hackers from all around the world found a malicious way of using BHOs, and they soon started being used as spyware that spies on your online activities and uses them to the hackers’ advantage.
The malicious uses of BHO include hijacking the user’s browser, changing the home page, changing the user’s default search engine, changing Internet Explorer properties, etc.
Up until Windows XP SP2, the BHOs were not visible once they were installed, and it was challenging to get rid of them once installed. But in Windows XP SP2 and later versions, there is an option in the Internet Explorer that allows the user to manage the BHOs installed on the system. This option can be found by going to “Tools” and “Manage Add Ons“.
Suppose you are concerned about BHO after reading this. In that case, it is best to switch to a different browser or use other tools available from Microsoft like the malware removal tool or the BHODaemon to manage and control the installation of this malicious malware.