image  by Sheila Blackford   ©2014    This past week, I purchased software for my  laptop.  I elected to download the software instead of waiting for the program CD to be sent. But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was electing the option: Install Normal instead of Custom Install. Normally, you wouldn’t need to do a custom install. I never did and you, too, likely may not have customarily used Custom Install.

This is what happened and why I recommend you do Custom Install in the future.

My program installed nicely. WinZip Pro. It is a ‘reputable’ file compression program recommended by CNET. Should be fine, right? Well, the company decided to add some other things in the Normal Install.  I got a browser highjacker: My SearchDial Toolbar and start.mysearchdial.com.

“Hey! Where’s my homepage???”

I kept getting start.mysearchdial.com instead of the homepages I had set. I put start.mysearchdial.com into Google, and found out what it was and how to remove it. Thank you  blogger, Stelian Pilici for your June 1, 2013 blog post Remove Start.MySearchDial.com hijack (Removal Guide) on the blog Malware Tips Your Security Advisor. Mr. Pilici says:  “Start.MySearchDial.com is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other downloads, and once installed it will add MySearchDial Toolbar, and change your browser homepage and search engine to Start.MySearchDial.com”

His instructions are straightforward and I quickly had it removed from both Internet Explorer and Chrome – it was attached into both browsers. The instructions are hyperlinked above for you.  Hopefully, companies like WinZip won’t continue this practice. And hopefully, CNET will post warnings about what is contained in the formerly innocuous, Normal Install. Do your friends, families, and colleagues a favor – pass the word.

 

Posted by SBlackford

Sheila Blackford is an Oregon attorney who has been a practice management advisor for the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund since 2005. She loves writing, riding her horse, and taking long walks with her husband and their dog.

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