MySocialShortcut is a new browser hijacker application developed by the Mindspark Interactive Network. You can directly download its browser extension from the site of the same name or Google’s Chrome web store. If you have the extension or any other unwanted program on your computer your homepage, search engine and new tab will be changed to Hp.myway(.)com. A toolbar could appear and search results could mislead you and show ads and targeted content. To see how to remove this hijacker and reverse the changes it made, you should read the article to its end.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||All browsers on your computer could be affected. The hijacker can redirect you and filter your search queries.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which are changed are the homepage, search engine, new tab, and browser extensions. A toolbar can be added, too. You can see targeted content and advertisements.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by MySocialShortcut |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss MySocialShortcut.|
MySocialShortcut – Delivery
The Hp.myway(.)com page of MySocialShortcut uses the usual methods for delivery. It can be delivered with the help of third-party installations. Bundled software, along with free programs, can install the hijacker on your PC. Freeware setups could have more components to be added set as a default install. Lots of settings can get changed or modified until you notice you have the hijacker on your computer. Preventing unwanted programs from installing is doable when you find Custom or Advanced settings in a setup.
As you can see in the picture above, Hp.myway(.)com can use alternative methods to spread its search engine and tamper with your search settings. The method shown above is by using an extension downloadable at the Chrome Web Store. Another is by using advertisements on websites, such as pop-ups, banners, and any additional advertisement content or redirects. Such websites could be partners or affiliates with Mindspark. The following browsers can be affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer/Edge, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.
MySocialShortcut – Information
MySociaShortcut(.)com is the main download page of the browser hijacker application of the same name. MyWay, owned by Mindspark Interactive Network has developed the hijacker, as many other ones, like TestForSpeed. If you have any application associated with it on your PC, the search engine, start page and new tab of your browsers will change to Hp.myway(.)com.
You can view the below image to see how the changed page looks like:
The Hp.myway(.)com web page consists of a search bar, with many links in the form of buttons. The buttons redirect to popular social media sites, but can be changed in a way to display advertisements and targeted content. That page will replace your search engine and settings of all browsers you have, including the new tab setting and home page. Browser extensions could be added as well as a toolbar.
An extension associated to the hijacker does the following:
- Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
- Read and change your browsing history
- Manage your downloads
- Manage your apps, extensions and themes
If any application related to Hp.myway(.)com or MySocialShortcut(.)com enters your PC system, you will notice a lot of changes when you are browsing. Your computer might become affected by such apps with the aid of bundled software. You can see various sponsored content or targeted advertisements in the search results. The address that your searches go through is int.search.myway(.)com/search/:
As you can see when you use Hp.myway(.)com your searches get filtered by the search engine of MyWay. You can get redirected to search.myway(.)com and also see lots of pop-up ads related to the hijacker, such as the following one:
As Mindspark is a big company, notorious for their many browser hijackers, you should be very careful with what you type in searches. Do not click on the social buttons of MySocialShortcut, because the links might be modified to redirect or show you targeted content when the page loads. Read below to find out what information can be gathered from you.
According to the Policy, information is still collected, even personally identifiable one, including:
- Your name
- Your address
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Number of your page views
- What links you clicked
- Your login times
The following excerpts quoted from the policy, are important as they are indicative of Mindspark:
Mindspark, its Affiliates, or Service Providers may transfer information that we collect about you, including personal information across borders and from your country or jurisdiction to other countries or jurisdictions around the world.
The services of Hp.myway(.)com and Mindspark, including all toolbars and applications related to them gives your approval for automatic information collection. All data that is gathered may be disclosed to third parties. You should remove this unwanted program as soon as possible.
Remove MySocialShortcut Completely from Your PC
To remove Hp.myway(.)com and anything associated to MySocialShortcut manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and all of its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer safe in the future.