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Avoid sneaky toolbars installing

By P.Hopkins (1 page)

Sometimes when you install a new program or install an adobe acrobat reader update, you miss options to disable a toolbar installation, and end up with a new un-wanted toolbar in your web browser.


Lots of software manufactures are adding these options in their software and they are not always obvious and you have to be extra vigilant, and go through the programs install / update interface slowly.


Don't click that 'Next' button until you've checked every possible option first. A good example is when there's an Adobe acrobat reader update. When this runs it will install the 'Ask' search utility toolbar into your web browser, if you don't select the option not to install it.


All the software developers know it should be the other way around, and that you should select it if you want it, not if you don't want it.


With installers its easy, just keep a close eye on all the options and check-boxes whilst going though the installation, clicking the 'Next' button, only when its all checked.


Have you installed a Java update only to find the ask search bar installed...?


The ask installer component of the Java setup actually waits ten minutes in the background before installing, fooling the user into thinking he/she got away with missing the tick box.


Adobe also do this with their flash player installer and update utility


But this is a classic example of how you get caught out and end up installing junk you don't want which is often useless anyway.



So... watch out for check-boxes, read the terms and conditions if you see a link to them, and don't rush through any installers.


If you do allot of downloading and get asked to install a program in order to play a video or music file you've downloaded, it's most likely a malicious method of getting to install other elements that others get commission on, or worst still designed to track and watch what you do.


If you want to put junk like that on your system, all you need to do is download any of the following programs and install them. They will promptly add loads of crap-ware you don't want..


BearShare - Imesh - WebSearch -SearchProtect - funMoods - babylon search bar -

You have to be careful on web sites as well..!!

Cnet a well-known downloads web site uses an installer, which you download in order to download and install what you want to download.... phew... This installer of theirs throws adverts and tricky little check boxes ready ticked to install extra's you don't want.


Some web sites use scripting pages to try and add things to your system you may not want or use. It's a good idea to have a script blocker installed in your we browser that helps you build a white-list of sites you use and guard against the bad.


Noscript is a good one to use. Here's a NoScript plug-in for FireFox, which brings me to the last point, web browser plug-ins and add-on's. The NoScript installer has options to change home page and web browser prefs, so be mindful when installing it.


Web browser Add-on's

There are some really good add-ons for firefox, like 'flashGot' which allows downloads of video and sound tracks from web sites..


But many of these add-on's are rubbish slowing down the browser and adding additional crap you don't get told about.


If I like the sound of a new plug-in I'm looking at, I google It's ass, until I know as much as possible about it, including the bad stuff..


Viruses addware and malware

Toolbars can also be installed by other programs running on your system that are part of a structured viral infection. Having good Anti Virus software installed helps, but you need to back it up with something like spybot S&D, or Comodo system tools, or some other anti ad-ware / mal-ware utility.


I've had to manually remove a mal-ware or scare-ware infection on many accounts, because the system had poor security installed, that didn't pick up on a tool bar installation, that was also installing crap without consent from the user.



To summaries

Don't rush through any installations of software, and check all the options.


If you want to install a new plug-in for your web browser find out as much as you can about it on the internet first..


Don't use crap Anti-Virus software and what you do use, keep up-to-date..


Find a good script blocker add-on for your web browser that lets you add web sites to a white list so you stay protected from bad web sites, and sites not yet known as bad.


Don't use Anti-virus on it's own.. Add an anti-mal ware / spy-ware program That works well along side your Anti-virus software. Don't add another Anti-virus program or they will clash and cause system instabilities

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