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Beware of MS Internet Explorer Plug-Ins

Oct 9, 2007
Recently, I upgraded my copy of Internet Explorer. No big deal, right? Well, I thought it was an upgrade.

In actuality it turned out to be a product masking as an upgrade called Intelligent Explorer and when it downloaded to my machine, it started a nighmarish journey that taught me a wealth about what one wrong click can unleash on your computer.

I did some quick research via Google and found messages screaming for help in the BullGuard and Spywareinfo forum from people trying to get it off their machine.

In this article, I am going to use Internet Explorer to point out the Internet Explorer plugin nightmare and what you'll need to do to protect yourself.

Intelligent Explorer is a toolbar that moves in and takes over your browser. It is extremely hard to get rid of, and beyond that, it's just plain annoying. Here's is just one sample of a person calling for help:

"Hey I'm having issues with something called Internet explorer toolbar - Intelligent explorer. I can't find a way to remove it from my comp and I really don't want to reinstall windows. I've used spybot, ad-ware, and cw shredder but nothing seems to work."

What makes Intelligent Explorer so destructive is that it allows other software add-ons to download to you computer. And, even more insulting to your intelligence is that in their license agreement it states that they have the right to do it.

"You grant to us the right, exercisable by us until you uninstall the Software or this agreement is otherwise terminated, to provide to you the Service of downloading and causing to be displayed advertising material on your computer, through "pop-up" or other display while you use your browser.

You acknowledge and agree that installation of the Software may automatically modify toolbars and other settings of your browser. By installing the Software, you agree to such modifications."

You can go to ieplugin.com/terms.html to read the entire license agreement.

The company that pushes this parasitic software is an obfuscated firm incorporated in the tiny country of Belize outside of most jurisdictions and immune from legal actions.

The pop-ups generated by this plugin run the gamut from annoying to pornographic. It can create a new homepage, generate an endless loop of popup ads, reappear after removal and cause endless hours of frustration.

Thank God for XoftSpy located at xoftspy.com. After two scans, it finally got rid of it, and it only cost me $40. Freeware is available, but at the level of frustration I was at, I went for a guaranteed product.

At least, if it didn't work, I could return it and get my money back. Other good eliminators include Spyware Eliminator, Spyware COP and Spybot Search and Destroy.

I have subsequently switched browsers, recognizing that Internet Explorer just has too many holes in its current security.

Mozilla Firefox has become my browser of choice. It comes with superior security features and it's much easier to get rid of plug-ins that prove harassing. I have only gone over one plug-in problem I encountered when using IE.

XoftSpy took care of others as well, but I got a much better browser and fewer problems when I made the switch to Mozilla Firefox.
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