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! 



Comments (10)

  1. The only problem is that MyIE2 won’t help the problem you cited above. Installs via IE will still happen if your VB.Net-developing parents visit and click "yes" to install things from the hacker/gamer sites they go to when they visit you.

    I’ve been a MyIE2 user for about 2 years now, good stuff, but it’s still IE.

  2. Addy Santo says:

    It is still IE, but the vast majority of the popups and activeX auto-installs just "magically vanish" thanks to the built-in popup filter, ad hunter, content filter, address blacklist, etc.

  3. Tim Marman says:

    Were your parents browsing porn?? 🙂

  4. Darrell says:

    I’ve also had good luck with Spybot (

  5. Dan Auger says:

    Ok, I’m a firebird lover, so I thought I would give this a try. I have run into one problem tho. When my apps use a javascript popup for a new window, they are displayed in a new tab, so in effect, they don’t popup anymore. Is there some setting I can change?

  6. but ActiveX plug-in installs aren’t the same thing as "non-requested windows" at all, are they? Pop-up blockers only block JavaScript pop-up windows which are not able to install anything in and of themselves.

    So while a pop-up blocker would keep a pop-up advertisement (that tried to install something) from popping up, if you were to click on a link that took you to a page that had a plug-in on it, you would still get the plug-in installation dialog, whether for Comet-cursor, for QuicktTime-VR, or whatever.

    And, let’s face it, the types of things you had installed only come from certain types of websites. Not MSN. Not CNN. Not They come from sites that deal with game cheats, downloading warez/music/cracks, and from other questionable freeware sources.

    Did you, by any chance, check the file dates on the adware you deleted? Comparing that to your IE history will usually help figure out the source of the problem.

  7. Rob says:

    MyIE2 is kinda nice, but it’s just way too clunky. The power is nice, but there’s too much junk in your face on the toolbars. Screen real-estate is important, and MyIE2 doesn’t seem to realize this.

    I’ve also enjoyed SlimBrowser. It’s kind of MyIE2 Lite (including being faster).

    On both though, I hate the extra clunky search box on the right. Drop the Address bar, and make the search box simply detect URLs (instead of keyword searches) and go to them.

    The Firebird UI is beautifully clean, while still having the tabs, blocker and most other features. I also love that typing in keywords kicks in Google’s I Feel Lucky.

  8. Geert says:

    If I remove it from my pc, it installs itself again automatically 🙁