Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Downloads Now Come With Extras?

The other day I saw an article about “extra items” sneaking into your computer via downloads from CNET. While I have downloaded from them in the past, I've never had any issues like that. Apparently now if you download from them you'll get a "bundle" of other things you didn't want along with what you DO want. Sigh.

They are not the only ones doing this.

This morning I received a prompt to download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Well, okay; I need that.

With it came an assault on my computer! The attack was two-fisted:

  • Google searches were hijacked by another search engine
  • A new toolbar appeared and took up some valuable real estate

The toolbar looked like this:





Rather crude and elementary looking, isn't it? Love that tacky "Speed Up Your Download" button; that's sure to create even more mess by clicking on it!

Oh, what to do? I appealed to the public on Google+. While receiving an avalanche of responses, none seemed to help. The suggestions presented were mainly the more obvious solutions. One person mentioned to search on the word "toolbar", however, I already knew that the name of the toolbar wouldn't be that obvious. Yes, this has happened to me before!

I thought I was being clever when sorting by date in the uninstall feature in the control panel. There was indeed some “garbage” that had today’s date on it. Unfortunately, none of those three, which were called “Trusted Saver”, “Less Tabs” or “Default Tabs” appeared to be the culprit. Perhaps they were going wreak havoc on my computer on a future date? In any case, they were annihilated.

Each time I rebooted I hoped to see that toolbar gone. Nope. During all this confusion I also uninstalled something from a company called Conduit. Wham! Pretty sure they were causing the Google hijack issue.

In the end, I attributed the toolbar to these two evils:

  • Internet Helper 3.1
  • DVDvideosofttb

Hey, don’t even ask me what they are! I am not a techie. I will tell you that neither of them had a current date on them making them even harder to catch when they land in your computer.

Lessons learned: Even if it’s a reputable company, other downloads do get attached to legitimate downloads. Just giving you the heads up on this; sadly, this could be a growing trend. No idea how to prevent it from happening!

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1 comment:

Shannon Grissom said...

I so appreciate the heads up!