You know how your mother has seemingly fifteen different toolbars installed on her web browser? One or more of them could potentially be mining bitcoins secretly in the background, according to Malwarebytes.
Except in these cases, the bitcoins (or possibly altcoins) aren’t going to the user of the computer. They’re going to criminals potentially on the other side of the planet. It’s an elaborate scheme aimed at quietly distributing computing power — using your resources — all at a grand total of $0 for the criminals.
But if you’re confident you don’t install suspicious programs, consider how fast you click “next” on setups of programs you do install. Often times, they’ll include an inconveniently-placed check box (that’s pre-checked, mind you) that reads: “Also install x on this computer” (or something of the like).
Malwarebytes, which offers a free scanning utility (and paid versions as well) can potentially detect these types of unwanted programs.