How to effectively prevent Malware using IE-SPYAD
IE-SPYAD by Eric Howes is a Malware blocker for Internet Explorer. It uses a block list in the form of a Windows Registry file to add thousands of known unwanted sites to Internet Explorer's Restricted Sites security zone. This ensures the Websites on the block list are blocked from running ActiveX controls, Java applets, Active scripts or even set cookies or use popups when you surf the net. At the time of writting IE-SPYAD blocks over 8000 sites this way. It adds another layer of protection in addition to those offered by other prevention methods like SpywareBlaster and HOSTS file.
Download IE-SPYAD from the authors page here Resources: Ad Blocking Resources
Which file to download?
IESPYAD comes in two different versions. IE-SPYAD (original) and IESPYAD2. Both have the same list of sites the difference being the registry area in which they are installed. IE-SPYAD (original) installs to the registry location for the current user thus affecting only the current user and IE-SPYAD2 installs to the global machine location thus affecting all users accounts on the PC.
Select and download the desired version to your PC. There are two installation types available for download one is self extracting zip file and another one is a plain zip file. The exe version is slightly uncomplicated to work with.
Note 1. The following instructions apply to all Windows versions running IE4 to IE6 SP2 other than Windows Server 2003. There are some special considerations if you are installing IE-SPYAD on Windows 2003 server. Please refer to the author's page here .
2. Close Internet Explorer before installation or close and re-open after the installation completes to effect the changes.
3. The author advises the users to uninstall older versions prior to installing the new version. In his words "The only reason that I advise users to uninstall older versions is to take care of the following situations:
* If I remove domains or sites from the list (and this has happened) — if you simply add the newer list without uninstalling the older one, the sites/domains that I removed won't be removed from your installation.
* If I correct errors (spelling, etc.) or change the syntax of certain domains and their specific sub-servers to be blocked.
In sum, I advise users to uninstall the older version in order to ensure that what's loaded in your Registry consists of the entries from the new version and only the new version."
To proceed with the installation double click the IE-SPYAD.EXE to start the installation. The WinZip self extractor will open. You can install the files to the default unzip folder or browse to your desired folder. Click on the Unzip button to unzip the files.
Wait for the confirmation to appear and click on OK to close it. Click on Close to exit the installer.
Now browse to your unzip folder, there are two methods to merge the block list provided in the form of Windows registry file into your registry.
Installing with Install.bat
A .bat file (batch file) is a simple text file that contains a series of DOS commands. Click on install.bat in the IE-SPYAD folder.
If you an earlier version of IE-SPYAD installed, select the first option by pressing the numeral 1 on your keyboard. If this is the first time you are installing IE-SPYAD, proceed to the next step.
Select the first option to uninstall the previous versions of IE-SPYAD.
Wait for the confirmation and then press any key to continue.
We are now back at the main screen, select the second option by pressing the numeral 2 on your keyboard to install the new version of IE-SPYAD.
Select the first option to confirm installation
Wait for the confirmation to appear and then press any key to continue
You will taken to the main menu, where you can press 5 to exit the program.
Installing with the registry file
A registry file is a text file with the extension .reg. These are used to insert values into the Windows Registry. Double click ie-ads-uninst.reg in the IE-SPYAD folder to uninstall the earlier version of IE-SPYAD. If this is the first time you are installing IE-SPYAD, proceed to the next step.
Click Yes in the confirmation dialogue box.
The earlier version of IE-SPYAD installed in your system is now uninstalled. Click OK in the confirmation message.
Now click on ie-ads.reg file in the IE-SPYAD folder to install the new version and then click OK in the confirmation box.
Wait for the confirmation message that the information has been successfully entered into the registry to appear and the click OK to finish the installation.
Now that we have completed the installation of IE-SPYAD successfully, check the settings of the Restricted sites zone in Internet Explorer to ensure that all of the settings are either set to Disable or Prompt. In the version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows XP Service pack 2, normally only the Popup blocker should be in the Enable position in the Restricted sites zone. You can access these settings in Internet Explorer > Tools menu > Internet options > Security tab > click Restricted sites > Custom Level. More about the Security tab options here Malware Help.Org: Configuring Internet Explorer for Practical Security and Privacy – Security Tab Options
Will we get a warning when IE-SPYAD restricts a Website?
The only visual indication you get is through the Internet Explorer, you will see the Restricted sites icon on the status bar showing that IE is using the information from the block list.
Make sure to update IE-SPYAD whenever updates are released to maximize your security.
IE-SPYAD is updated atleast once a month and is available from the same link from which you have downloaded IE-SPYAD. There are no seperate update files, every time you have to download the whole IE-SPYAD and follow the procedure outlined above for installation.
This concludes the IESPYAD tutorial.
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