What Is History Swatter and How Do I Get Rid of It?

January 25, 2009

in applications,privacy & security

by David Hakala

Q: How does one get rid of History Swatter? And, how did one get History Swatter to begin with? — Bill

A: To get rid of History Swatter and a bunch of other adware you undoubtedly picked up with it, run a scan with an antivirus program such as Avast! Antivirus or an adware remover such as Ad-Aware Plus. Both are free for non-commercial home users.
You probably got History Swatter by downloading MyWebSearch Plus, or by downloading any of several hundred free applications that bundle MyWebSearch as part of their super-duper deals.

MyWebSearch comes with a very interesting End User License Agreement (EULA) that says, among over 8,000 other words nobody reads:

“We reserve the right to add additional features or functions to the existing Software. When installed on your computer, the Software periodically communicates with our servers. We may require the updating of the Software on your computer when we release a new version of the Software, or when we make new features available. This update may occur automatically or through other means and may occur all at once or over multiple sessions”

In simple terms, MyWebSearch downloads and installs additional applications without your knowledge. History Swatter is just one of them.

MyWebSearch also collects data on your surfing habits and sends it back to a central repository where your interests are analyzed. The headquarters then serves up ads supposedly targeted to your tastes. Advertising revenues make MyWebSearch free to end users.

We could give you instructions for uninstalling MyWebSearch and History Swatter manually, but it would be futile. The other programs associated with these two would sneakily replace them when you aren’t looking. You need antivirus and/or adware-removal software to eradicate this infection and keep it from happening again.

MyWebSearch is a product of IAC Search & Media, formerly known as the Ask Jeeves search engine. The company’s Board of Directors has included some well-known names: Barry Diller (QVC, Fox Paramount), Edgar Bronfman Jr. (Seagrams), Victor Kaufman (Tri-Star,Sony), John C. Malone (Remember TCI Cable), Alan Spoon (Washington Post) and Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (Desert Storm).

David Hakala has written technology tutorials since 1988, in addition to tech journalism, profitable content, documentation, and marketing collateral.