What Good Does Pointing Out Spyware Do?
from the if-you-can't-remove-it dept
What a strange world we live in these days, where companies are afraid to actually deal with spyware/adware companies because they somehow have the air of “legitimacy”. It’s your computer, and you should be free to ditch any crap that has been installed without your knowledge and explicit consent. However, as we’ve pointed out in the past, companies like Dell have decided that, in order not to piss off these so-called marketers (which is not the right term for them), they won’t help you get spyware off of your computer, even if that’s what’s causing it to slow down. Now, Broadband Reports is pointing out that, for similar reasons, big ISPs like Earthlink and AOL are offering anti-spyware products that don’t actually remove the spyware. They just tell you that you have spyware on your computer, and leave it up to you to figure out how to remove it. It’s certainly better than ignoring the problem completely, but it really doesn’t go that far. Of course, they’re probably trying to avoid lawsuits from companies that are called spyware, but which insist they are “legitimate” – despite the fact that there’s plenty of evidence most people don’t install it on purpose.
Comments on “What Good Does Pointing Out Spyware Do?”
There are many “shareware” type programs out that rely on ad-ware code incorporated into their program.
Instead of sending the author money like you would for traditional shareware, you allow him/her to earn a kickback from sales related to ads seen in their software.
Most spyware removal tools will kill the .DLL or other file(s) that the software relies on to keep functioning, and unless you have some idea of what you’re doing you can easily make programs stop working by running a spyware remover.
That, I believe, is the reason why companies aren’t helping users to remove suspected spyware.
CYA is right on the money with the second part of the note: The fear, I believe, is not fear of spyware marketers sueing Dell (yeah, that’ll happen..), but lawsuits against Earthlink for telling you how to delete this or that program (or offering a tool) and then someone’s system gets hosed.
Easy to do; hard to undo.
The fear of people killing their systems is what stops companies from taking that last step to help users remove spyware.
I would like to know how much money the computer companies get from all of the pre-installed advertising that they put onto new computers. I recently bought a new desktop PC and could not believe what I saw.
The desktop was littered with programs to sign up for various services.
There was an “Internet Service Selection” wizard that walks you through a number of deals being offered for ISPs. It took up 55 MB of my new hard drive.
They had a program in the startup menu that opens a portal-like window on top of the desktop, loaded with links to dozens of advertisers in various categories.
Of course, the Internet Favorites list was pre-populated with a number of sites.
A new feature which I have never seen before is that in the Start menu, under Programs, almost every sub-menu contained a shortcut to “special offers”. e.g. Start / Programs / Accessories / Special Offers).
Then there are the limited/crippled editions of various commercial software, such as Quicken and Microsoft Money.
Most of this isn’t spyware, but Dell and the others are paid to put this on the PC. They probably get a commission if anyone actually buys something, so I doubt they would want to tell you how to remove the stuff.
This is why I don’t buy consumer grade PC’s anymore. I build my own and load the OS myself. I know exactly what is on my hard drive…until the wife gets a hold of it anyway 🙂
Re: Re: Dell is infected from the start ...
Well said … in my case, I know what’s on the hard drive until my Mom gets ahold of it … lol
For Christmas we purchased her a new Dell machine.
The first thing I did was download and run anti-spyware software …
Thanks Dell for placing Alexis there …
I promptly removed it.
This is exactly why the first thing that is done with new PCs at our corp is format and re-install the OS.
No Subject Given
And of course once Earthlink identifies but doesn’t remove the offending software, everyone will end up calling their favorite computer-literate relative for help.
Yep, we can’t mention spyware or recommend ways to stop the popups… Oh, but we can recommend Sunbelt Software (never even heard of this crap) which allows you to see a list of the ‘third party programs’ on your system and remove the ones you don’t want… for only $49 Bah!
But rules are meant to be broken! Just had a customer with a 4-yr old system that took about 8 min to boot…had three casino apps in startup…popups before windows finished loading, and it was amazing how it didn’t just crash. Cleaned it up manually (regedit, which we aren’t supposed to do either, and cleaned up everything starting up so it would actually boot a little faster…
And then downloaded Ad-Aware… and she had 836 new items found! It took it about 20 min to find them, and 15 min to remove them… never seen Ad-aware poke along like that! Then we grabbed Spybot S&D and ran it too… and prayed it got rid of what Ad-Aware missed, and we were back to booting in about 1.5 minutes and things were smooth. What we should have done is just format the damn thing and reinstall like we did before there was anti-spyware-you-still-have-a-chance-in-hell software 🙂
Eventually this junk will end up in the BIOS and will be that much harder to delete.
Imagine having a nice McDonald’s logo show up during POST… that’ll be the day…Armageddon!
Haven’t we been reading about the major players replacing the traditional BIOS with a totally different approach? What, pray tell, will MS, Intel, the MPAA, and RIAA allow us to do with “our” computer then.
THE DEVICE ATTEMPTING TO CONNECT TO PORT 83 IS NOT REGISTERED WITH OUR DATABASE…
PLEASE CONTACT CUSTOMER SUPPORT TO PURCHASE THE ADDITIONAL LICENSES NEEDED TO LEGALLY CONNECT THE DEVICE.
ANY ATTEMPT TO BYPASS THESE PROVISIONS IS SUBJECT TO FINE OR IMPRISONMENT.
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.
I can hardly wait…
Re: Re: BIOS
Open Source hardware…or at least, BIOSes
That is why Intel has created the new open BIOS for companies to load software for products and advertisements onto realising that software and internet ads are declining in poularity this way they have control with out your knowledge