AOL Secretly Changing Windows Settings To Stop Messenger Spam
from the good-reason,-but-wrong-practice dept
Microsoft messenger spam is certainly a problem for some who haven’t figured out how to block it. However, that doesn’t mean someone should be able to block it without the user’s permission. Messenger spam isn’t about instant messaging, but about the little notification system that comes with Windows that system administrators sometimes use to provide users with info about updates. Spammers have been abusing it on computers where it’s been left open, and now it turns out that AOL has been quietly turning it off on users’ computers, without them realizing it. Now, it’s admirable that they’re trying to help stomp out some spam (even though, they still like to push their own pop up ads). However, adjusting a user’s Windows settings without them realizing it is not the proper way to do that. What if it’s someone who actually does need to have the messenger service turned on? It also opens up the possibility that AOL could surreptitiously make other changes to your machine (such as blocking competing systems from working). AOL’s response is that the number of people who need it on is a very small number, and they should know how to turn it back on themselves. Funny that AOL gets to decide that for the user, instead of the other way around.
Comments on “AOL Secretly Changing Windows Settings To Stop Messenger Spam”
the correct way
The correct way to handle this is the way Mozilla handles popups: the first time you see a popup window, it asks you if you want to turn them off. It tells you how to do so, and gives you a “turn them off” (or somesuch) button to open the appropriate section of the prefs and check that box for you. You can also click “No”. It never bugs you about them again, either way.
If AOL handled turning off Windows messenger in the same fashion, it would be much more welcome.
all your registry are belong to AOL
Isn’t this activity covered by the “anti-hacking” law that prohibits someone else from modifying data on your computer without your permission?