Prevent GetFamilyHistory from hijacking your browser
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is hp.myway.com?
Developed by the Mindspark Interactive Network, GetFamilyHistory is a browser hijacker. It is endorsed as a tool for quick access to free resources concerning family history, accompanied by a fake web searcher. GetFamilyHistory is supposedly capable of providing family tree information, last name origin and meanings, as well as other related content.
However, this rogue application modifies browsers and promotes hp.myway.com - a fake search engine. Due to most users installing this app inadvertently, it is classified as a PUA (potentially unwanted application). Furthermore, GetFamilyHistory has data tracking abilities and uses them to spy on browsing activity.
Typically, browser hijackers are designed to target Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and other popular browsers. They operate by assigning their fake web searching tools as the browser's homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URL. GetFamilyHistory promotes hp.myway.com in this manner.
To elaborate, every new tab/window opened and every search query typed into the URL bar - all redirect to hp.myway.com. While these changes may seem relatively minor and easy to undo, that is not the case. Access to certain settings can be limited or outright denied, and any changes made simply reset.
Therefore, without removing the hijacking application, recovering the hijacked browser is impossible. As mentioned in the introduction, GetFamilyHistory can also track data. It records user's IP address, browsing and search engine history, geolocation, personal details and other similar intel.
This private data is then shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), intent on misusing it for financial gain. Data tracking content can cause serious privacy issues, even result in identity theft. To ensure browser and system integrity, as well as user safety - all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately.
|Name||GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names||Avast (Win32:UnwantedSig [PUP]), BitDefender (Adware.MyWebSearch.145), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Toolbar.MyWebSearch.BA Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:WebToolbar.Win32.Agent.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Supposed Functionality||Access to family history.|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Serving IP Address (hp.myway.com)||126.96.36.199|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Most PUAs share certain traits, browser hijackers are likewise similar to one another. MyQuickLotto, FreeAuctionFinder, Your Daily Trailer are a few examples of hijacking apps identical to GetFamilyHistory. Usually, unwanted content is advertised as "useful" and "beneficial", further luring users into installation by offering a wide variety of tools and features.
However, it must be emphasized, that the only purpose of these applications is to generate profit for their developers; to users they have no genuine value. Instead of operating as promised and having functional tools, PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to various hazardous websites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns and track sensitive data.
How did GetFamilyHistory install on my computer?
Some PUAs (like GetFamilyHistory) have "official" webpages, where they are often promoted as "free" software. Another way that rogue applications spread is via download/installation setups of other programs. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling", by which regular software is packed together with unwanted apps.
By rushing through download and installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, using pre-set options, etc.), users can miss the presence of undesirable and/or malicious content and unknowingly allow it onto their systems. Intrusive advertisements are also known proliferators of unwanted apps.
Usually hosted by compromised sites, these adverts typically appear ordinary and harmless. But once clicked, they can execute scripts, designed to download/install PUAs, without user permissions.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is advised to use only trustworthy and verified download channels. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar sources - are deemed to be untrustworthy, therefore advised against using. Download/installation setups and processes should be approached with caution.
Users are encouraged to read terms and explore possible options. What is more, they should use "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from installing/downloading additional content.
Should users encounter suspicious redirects and advertisement campaigns, it is strongly recommended to perform a system check and remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately.
If your computer is already infected with GetFamilyHistory, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker installer set-up:
GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is hp.myway.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall GetFamilyHistory application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove hp.myway.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove hp.myway.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove hp.myway.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "GetFamilyHistory Internet Explorer..."), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the hp.myway.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
GetFamilyHistory browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://hp.myway.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "hp.myway".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the getfamilyhistory browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "GetFamilyHistory" and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable GetFamilyHistory, look for a browser hijacker URL (hp.myway.com) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "myway.com when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the getfamilyhistory browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "GetFamilyHistory", as well as all other recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window disable GetFamilyHistory, remove hxxp://hp.myway.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "moz-extension"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with getfamilyhistory browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the getfamilyhistory browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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