Combatting the spyware blues, MyIE2 to the rescue
I moved from Israel to New York roughly a year ago. Since a year is a pretty long time to be away from your family, my parents decided to fly in for a quick visit over the holidays. They slept in my guest room (aka “the server room”) and we all had a great time. Unfortunately, I had not set any of my boxes to “Mort mode”, meaning that within minutes of my parent's arrival my network was infected with spyware, adware and whatever else gets auto-installed when your parents click on any and all “OK“ button they happen upon while browsing the web. So....
Step one: Scan for viruses. None found, hooray.
Step two: Scan for adware/spyware. For this I used BulletProof's scanner, which was fairly decent. It found 2 live processes, 15 different EXE files and over 100 spyware-related registry keys. Cleaned. Just to be paranoid, I double checked with SpyHunter. Other than 142 false positives, I'm clean. Ok. Uninstall SpyHunter.
Step three: Download and configure MyIE2 as the default browser. While it is possible (with a great amount of effort) to make IE reasonably safe, I decided to try out some of the more modern browsers. MyIE2 was the first and one I tried - and it blew me away. It doesn't have any real “revolutions” inside but it is stable, flexible and loaded with functionality. After playing around with it for less than an hour, I couldn't even think of going back to IE. From a security standpoint, it does everything IE does (since it uses IE's engine) but adds on a popup blocker, ad remover, additional privacy settings and more.
Things I liked about it:
- Tabbed browsing,
- built-in ad & popup blocker,
- integrated web-services,
- favorite grouping,
- url aliases,
- download manager support,
- 99.99% compatible with vanilla IE.
- good plug-in support
Things I didn't like: none so far.
So, the moral of the story: The next generation of browsers is here, and it *IS* better than what you are using today. I personally liked myIE2, but I have heard great things about FireBird, and there are others. Give em a spin!