Saturday, February 16, 2013

Unwanted or wanted toolbars, when to detect..

This is a follow up on a previous blogpost of me:
I received a lot of feedback on this (mainly via mail) which was an eye-opener....

We can't ignore the fact that more and more free software is bundled with an additional toolbar or software to cover the costs. After all, developing & have the bandwith available for downloading the software isn't free, so it's understandable they need some sort of coverage for the costs. The affiliate who offers the most is obviously being used more frequently into bundled installs. In most (almost all) cases, when a user installs the software, they are presented with options whether they want - or do not want to install this additional certain software bundle. Since, in most (almost all) cases, this is pre-selected by default, people don't bother with the install screens, don't read and just click "next" and "next". Then, in the end, they are complaining about an additional toolbar/startpage/searchpage they never wanted.

This is exactly why I can't stress enough to read "install screens" while you're installing a program. If you don't want the additional crap, just unselect from the install screens. In case you have installed it already, in most cases, it's easy to uninstall them again. Most of these affiliates have additional uninstall/remove instructions on their site.

Alot of these toolbars or additional software is harmless though - you can basically compare them with the "google" - or "yahoo" toolbar (although there are some exceptions).
This is why I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Should an AV-Vendor detect such (harmless) toolbars or not? Basically, when to detect - or when not to detect?