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  1. #1
    Star Lounger johjue's Avatar
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    Undesirable Toolbars And Other Sneaky Software

    I would like to pose a question that has puzzled me for some time. A couple of days ago, I was downloading a free software program that I have found to be quite useful for the past several years; a new version had become available. I first scanned the file with MSE. Upon beginning the installation, I noted that the installer was also going to try to install something called the "**** Toolbar". Not being unaware of such things, I cautiously unchecked boxes, etc. and was certain that I'd foiled the toolbar installation attempt. Nevertheless, I was soon the proud owner of a totally messed up web browser complete with the shiny new **** Toolbar, as well as a new default search engine and home page. Fortunately I was able, with a little help from a Google search, to return my computer to its previous condition, having lost an hour of the time that I have been granted in this life. Followed that with a full system scan by MSE and MBAM. A search of some tech sites assured that this was not spyware or malware, just junk.

    Now for the question- why would anyone create such a worthless piece of software, let alone allow it to be tied to software that is desirable, when the first reaction of anyone who had inadvertently installed it would be to find some way to get rid of it immediately? There are plenty of these lurking about, so there must be some reward. And I'm sure that the developer of the legitimate software gains monetarily from it, so I can kind of understand that side of it, although I would never be associated with such things. Yeah, I was fooled and am now a little bit wiser. But again, WHY create such a thing?

    John

    (PS- Actual toolbar name purposely altered. Don't need any law suits!)
    Last edited by johjue; 2012-09-15 at 00:42.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Maybe there are ads associated with the toolbars that are generating revenue for some schmuck somewhere.
    cnet is also bad for this sort of thing, they tend to have their own executable that offers "other" software along
    with the chosen download, But I have yet to see an instance where the software installer had a fake option checkbox.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-09-15 at 19:47.
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there are millions of people that blithely allow these Toolbars to reside on their browsers without knowing what happened. I have seen a few browsers with 4 or 5 toolbars fighting each other. It is sometimes very hard to find all the opt out checkmarks, etc. to actually opt out of these FREE toolbars to make our lives "so much easier and better!"

    Most of these toolbars can be removed by going to Manage Add-ons and disabling then, then using an uninstaller to uninstall them. Like you say they are more junkware than malware.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  4. #4
    Star Lounger johjue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    Unfortunately there are millions of people that blithely allow these Toolbars to reside on their browsers without knowing what happened.
    Given your statement, CLiNT would be correct in his generating revenue proposal. I'm sure that there are millions that would be OK with the toolbars as long as they could still get to Facebook, etc. To me, the presence of the unwanted toolbar was as irritating as having a foreign object in my eye. I had no intention of going to bed that evening until the toolbar had been eradicated, even though I could have still gone to Facebook, etc. if I so desired. It would be like if someone defaced my mailbox with graffiti, the mailbox would still perform its intended function; my mail would still be delivered to my home. However, I would address the defacement as soon as possible- just because it would irritate me. Perhaps evidence of another personality quirk that I possess! I guess that this is a sort of vandalism in a way.

    John
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  5. #5
    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I never download from Cnet...
    When and if they have a program I'm interested in I usually go right to the authors site and get it from there...

    Also, before I install anything I always make sure I image before the install...It's easier to restore an image then to waste time un-doing any damage caused by a program installation.
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  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    It is definitely not just CNet. Many, if not most, free downloads contain some sort of extra S/W piggybacked. Look at Java and Adobe of the past. It seems Google Toolbar, Ask Toolbar and search are a couple that many consider junk. The Babylon Toolbar is one that is piggybacked often, and IMO, is malware. You just have to be VERY vigilant to opt out. If there is not an offered opt out, I just refuse the install. There is nothing I need bad enough to get this junk I do not want.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger midnight's Avatar
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    Our former church secretary had 5 different toolbars running on her computer when it crashed! When asked about them, she said 'I had to install them'.

    There are a lot of folks who should not be allowed to touch a computer!!

    BJ the grouch

  8. #8
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    Even paid software does it and it is, no doubt, for the money they get from doing it.

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    As with most business today, it's all about the bucks. There is no free lunch.
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