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Avira Free AV now bundled with Ask toolbar


19 replies to this topic

#11 Bozzie

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    Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:29 PM

    Hi Everyone,
    Well, I guess Avira will be added to the Toilet Ware list.

    I just wanna say that when I was in grammar school, I remember my Mom saying that "money is the root of all evil". As life has gone on, I have seen how this quote is oh SO TRUE!

    When companies belittle themselves and just don't give a darn about the users anymore, that company deserves to be in the toiletry department.

    Take care all :)


    #12 FreeWareFan

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      Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:39 PM

      Previous version (9) did not include WebGuard, so why everybody nervous about it now? Just don't install toolbar and all will be as before.

      #13 marko

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        Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:53 PM

        A lot of toolbars are just toolbars at the end of the day, but the "Ask" toolbar has became recognised as a particularly annoying one, with even hpHosts accusing them of distributing malware through it - this is the issue I have at the moment, our stance has always been to allow third party apps in software as long as the option exist's to opt-out and the third party software isn't suspicious or nasty in any way - the "Ask" toolbar has a major question mark hanging over it - is it a distributor of malware? If so, and if anyone can offer any evidence of such then anything that includes the toolbar will become unsupported on FreewareBB. Obviously it's not a decision I'd like to take lightly, hence the reason for my asking for your opinions on the toolbar itself. I'm doing my own digging at the moment and if I find anything I'll post back :)

        If there are any Avira users amongst us, have you received any emails from them recommending UniBlue products?

        #14 FreeWareFan

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          Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:02 PM

          View Postmarko, on 28 September 2011 - 07:53 PM, said:

          If there are any Avira users amongst us, have you received any emails from them recommending UniBlue products?
          I've paid Premium version for my parents, didn't heard about it from them.

          #15 James (Jim) Hillier

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            Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:22 PM

            Quote

            Previous version (9) did not include WebGuard, so why everybody nervous about it now? Just don't install toolbar and all will be as before
            That's not the point FWF, none of that matters. Imagine if all developers/vendors employed similar tactics - if you don't install the bundled extras you can't have this, or can't have that. It's a ransom system, purely designed to encourage the end user to install something they don't necessarily want and definitely don't need.

            Jim Hillier - Freeware editor Daves Computer Tips.com

            #16 James (Jim) Hillier

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              Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:22 PM

              Marko - There seems to be very little (if any) evidence to support claims that the Ask Toolbar carries malware, or even adware. However, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Ask.com have coerced security software venders into altering their programs so the toolbar is no longer recognized as malicious.

              If you look back through the history you will see that many security programs have stopped flagging the toolbar immediately after the vendors have formed an association with Ask.com. The security software flags the toolbar - next thing the toolbar is actually bundled with the security software - and what do ya know, the security software no longer flags the toolbar. This has been a common pattern, obviously money is changing hands. Symantec, Bitdefender, Avira, the list goes on.

              I believe if you review all the freeware products that come down with the Ask Toolbar bundled, you will find that there are so many (and including lots of popular titles) it may very well be impractical to ban them all.

              If no-one can offer any absolute proof that the Ask Toolbar is indeed malicious, may I suggest FreewareBB handles the situation in much the same manner as Open Candy:

              *Ban all freeware which does not offer a choice - where the toolbar installs automatically.
              *Continue listing freeware which includes an opt-in/opt-out system but include a notation on the download page to that effect.

              As for freeware, such as Avira, where features are disabled if installation of the toolbar is refused - well, I'm torn on that one; personally I think it is a most dishonorable practice but technically the software does offer choices for the end user.

              Cheers mate...Jim
              Jim Hillier - Freeware editor Daves Computer Tips.com

              #17 marko

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                Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:53 PM

                I agree, but for us we're caught between a rock and a hard place ... there is a lot of unhappy users on the Avira forums themselves, there is an ongoing question about the actual removal of the "Ask" toolbar and the fact it leaves traces of an unknown file, I'm still delving into the whole issue surrounding "Ask" but I think it's likely we'll do what we've always done, as you say, place a warning on all third party installations :)

                #18 James (Jim) Hillier

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                  Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:34 AM

                  Agreed mate. There are a lots of reports re the difficulties involved with completely removing the toolbar, seems it is a lot harder to get rid of than it is to install.
                  There would be lots of unhappy Avira users all over mate, but at least they are well aware of the situation...otherwise they wouldn't be unhappy. :)
                  The best FreewareBB can do about it is make sure all potential downloaders are made aware.
                  That is, of course, provided your investigation does not come up with anything malicious. Whatever happens, I know you will do what is best mate. :)

                  Cheers...Jim

                  P.S. Some of the more reputable/popular freeware distributors who bundle the Ask Toolbar:
                  Auslogics
                  BitTorrent
                  BurnAware
                  Foxit
                  Glary
                  GOMPlayer
                  ImgBurn
                  Miro
                  Nero Free
                  PDF-XChange
                  PicPick
                  Trillion
                  Webroot
                  Jim Hillier - Freeware editor Daves Computer Tips.com

                  #19 James (Jim) Hillier

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                    Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:14 PM

                    Marko - It might be worth noting that the new [2012] version of Avira Free AV now utilizes an opt-in system for the Ask Toolbar...the extraneous installation is now disabled by default. The toolbar remains associated with the Webguard component so, if the toolbar is not installed Webguard will be unusable. Still, WOT or LinkExtend or MSA will cover that, and do a better job too.
                    Jim Hillier - Freeware editor Daves Computer Tips.com

                    #20 marko

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                      Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:22 AM

                      I think Avira will struggle with any form of trust from a lot of users now anyway Jim, even if they are offering opt-in instead of opt-out - thing is, this would be a noble move from anyone else other than an antivirus vendor and particularly with the "Ask!" toolbar, I mean of all the toolbars they could have promoted it had to be "Ask!" :unknown:




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