A new element of Web surfing is becoming more common — website cookie–approval notifications.
Site publishers might call this “informed consent;” but it’s mostly a reaction to the growing use of ad blockers.
Websites respond to a drop in ad revenue
Keeping your applications up to date is obviously an important part of safe computing. That’s especially true for software that hooks deep into Windows. Recently, I booted up CCleaner (site) and received the all-to-common notification of an updated version. (The app is now on Version 5.18.5607; it includes better cleaning for MS Edge cache and history, Firefox 46 sessions, portable browsers, and more.)
Downloading and installing the new version produced a couple of surprises: a “cookie” approval on the FileHippo download site and a PUP (potentially unwanted program) option during installation.
The cookie issue is a longer discussion, so I’ll start with the PUP. Showing up when I installed the free version of CCleaner, it offered to install and run Google Chrome as my default browser. I find that irritating because I already have Chrome installed, and Firefox is my default browser of choice. Fortunately, the offer was in no way hidden and so was easy to ignore. But it points up the ways that even free versions of mainstream applications (notoriously, Adobe Flash Player, for example) are looking for any possible revenue source.