What is hp.myway.com?
GiffySocial is a rogue application developed by Mindspark Interactive Network. It is endorsed for quick access to various GIF images (a lossless compressed image, supporting animated and static visual content). In fact, this app is unable to provide GIFs and so employs GIPHY (a legitimate GIF database and search engine).
GiffySocial is classified as a browser hijacker due to the unauthorized changes it makes to browsers to promote a fake search engine (hp.myway.com). Most users install GiffySocial inadvertently, and thus it is categorized as a PUA (potentially unwanted application). GiffySocial also has data tracking capabilities, which it employs to monitor users' browsing habits.
In most cases, browser hijackers target Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. Once successfully installed, these hijacking applications modify the homepage, default engine, and new tab/window URL settings. These changes affect browsers, since each new tab/window opened and each search query typed into the URL bar redirects to a fake search engine.
GiffySocial promotes hp.myway.com in this manner. Without removal of the browser hijacker, recovering the affected browser is impossible. Although the changes may seem reversible, any user changes made are reset (if indeed access to the settings is allowed at all).
Note that GiffySocial is frequently distributed with the Ask Search browser extension. This rogue application also has data tracking abilities. By recording users' browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories), it can collect their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations, and personal details).
The data is then passed on to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps can lead to serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To avoid system infiltration/infections and protect private data, remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.
|Name||GiffySocial browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab.|
|Detection Names (hp.myway.com)||Avast (Win32:UnwantedSig [PUP]), BitDefender (), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Toolbar.MyWebSearch.BA Potentially Unwanted), Kaspersky (), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Supposed Functionality||GIF image sharing/viewing features.|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine.|
|Serving IP Address (hp.myway.com)||220.127.116.11|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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 browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are countless PUAs online. Most share certain traits and some are even identical. MyImageConverter, FreeTemplateFinder, and DailyFunnyWorld are some examples of similar browser hijackers released by Mindspark Interactive Network. In general, unwanted applications tempt users to install by offering various "useful" features, however, these rarely work as advertised and, in most cases, are nonoperational.
The only purpose of these apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Regular users receive no real value. PUAs hijack browsers, cause redirects to sale-based, dubious, even malicious web pages, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.), and gather sensitive information.
How did GiffySocial install on my computer?
Some PUAs (including GiffySocial) have "official" download websites. These unwanted applications also proliferate through the download/install set-ups of other programs. This deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing ordinary software with unwanted content is called "bundling".
Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) endangers systems with infiltration and infections.
Intrusive advertisements are also used to spread rogue apps. Usually located in compromised websites, intrusive ads may seem ordinary and harmless, however, once clicked, they can execute scripts designed to perform stealthy downloads/installs of PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Research software/files to verify its legitimacy before downloading/installing. Only official and verified channels should be used for downloading, as opposed to third party downloaders and other untrustworthy sources.
When installing, read the terms, explore possible options, use "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out of downloading/installing additional apps, tool, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, however, they can redirect to dubious websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and similar).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, check your system and immediately remove any suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with GiffySocial, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
GiffySocial browser hijacker installer set-up:
GiffySocial browser hijacker asking for various permissions:
Website promoting GiffySocial browser hijacker:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 GiffySocial application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove hp.myway.com redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove GiffySocial 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.
GiffySocial 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, "GiffySocial Internet Explorer..."), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications that 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.
GiffySocial 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 giffysocial 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 "GiffySocial" 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 GiffySocial, 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 "Ask Web Search", and 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 giffysocial 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "GiffySocial", 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 GiffySocial, 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 giffysocial 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 giffysocial 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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