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SUPERAntiSpyware recommending ask!

marko's Photo marko 25 Jan 2012
On a recent installation of SUPERAntiSpyware I was somewhat surprised and a little bewildered to see these guys pushing the ask! service. I'll be careful to make it known that SAS is not installing the ask! toolbar, instead it's installing it's own toolbar (or so it would seem anyway) but it's search partner is ask! and there is also an option to make ask! the default search engine.

On a plus (if that's possible) enabling the toolbar then gives you a professional feature, scheduled scanning, but as is always the case, whenever I see a security product recommend a service which has been considered to be responsible for a lot of issues (i.e. the ask! toolbar and it's associated problems of removal and intrusive behavior) I worry where this is going to end!.

As always, the discussion is open and if anyone can possibly pacify me on this one, I'm all ears :)

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Claw's Photo Claw 25 Jan 2012
Hey Marko,,I just reinstalled SAS on a computer I have 3 days ago,,and of course I saw the toolbar. It surprised me too, looking at it ,the benefits out weigh risk (kind of). My solution was simple,,I didn't install the toolbar. There is a bit of caution like you say,,when a software like SAS which is designed to get you out of trouble,,is dealing with ASK,,which seems to cause a lot of trouble!!!!

James (Jim) Hillier's Photo James (Jim) Hillier 25 Jan 2012
WOW, yet another security product goes over to the darkside. I wonder if these security software developers/distributors realize just what hypocrites they are being, flagging the Ask Toolbar for being malicious one minute and then jumping into bed with Ask as soon as the magic dollars are waved.

This leads me to believe one of two things: either Ask has cleaned up its act considerably or the majority of security vendors have very few scruples - hmmm, now let me see, I wonder which one it is. LOL

My opinion remains unchanged mate: much as I, you, we dislike this practice, as long the Toolbar is optional it is acceptable.

Claw's Photo Claw 25 Jan 2012
Optional,,this may just be the magic word. As much as we don't want or like the practice, this may become the norm from now on.
Oh,and Jim how dare you use the words dollars and scruples in the same breath !!!! Money can't buy scruples ,,but it will get you a cheap facsimile.

PCRacer's Photo PCRacer 26 Jan 2012
I might shed some light on this. Just yesterday I was approached by another ToolBar-Installer company in the US.

They represent a collection of third-party software vendors like Ask.com and others that wish to add their toolbars and software add-ons to all my software.

This offer was the third this month that I have received. And they also don't take no for an answer. I actually had to tell the guy to not ever contact me again before he stopped. :shout: :girl_cray2:

They are very hard-up for marketing opportunities and distribution channels. I think SAS might have given in to their offer. :cray:

You do get some money back, something like 70c to a dollar for each install, depending from which country the installation came from. :crazy:

I guess their need for money was more than their integrity for providing free software. :negative:

This is just my experience with these people. :negative:

marko's Photo marko 26 Jan 2012
It is a killer Henk, especially the way things are going at the moment - thing is, even though I'm raising this on the forums, I'm not necessarily saying these guys are in the wrong - it does concern me when a security product chooses to include these third party apps, and that fact alone (for me anyway) does raise questions about the developers integrity and the future of their security products but even if they had went down the OpenCandy road and as everyone here will know I'm no fan of OC either, I believe they would have done less damage to their reputation than including a toolbar associated with the ask! name - even bing or google toolbars would surely have been more acceptable?.

How ridiculous is this all becoming when I can actually say I would have welcomed OpenCandy over a toolbar????!!!!.

As we've discussed before, in a perfect world we would not see third party addons at all and could simply enjoy installing the software we choose to install, but as long as organised groups continue to push addons and make money from them (which they will) they will have more income than the smaller, independant developer like you guys and will potentially be able to push their products further and gain more exposure by (possibly) advertising, etc - then come the "trial" versions and so on and so on ...

For me, there is nothing more rewarding than being independant - free from the chains of financial dependency on a sponsor, and although we do serve ads to guest's the income is pretty much negligible - this means we can remain impartial and say pretty much what we all feel - if we were financially connected to some product, we could have to be careful what we say so not to upset anyone and loose our sponsorship - I'll leave that kind of situation to the likes of CNet and Tucows who have made it perfectly clear their priority is with their sponsors - personally, I'm not for sale - never have been and never will be!! :)

PCRacer's Photo PCRacer 26 Jan 2012
I agree, security software should be free from any add-ons. :good:

It's all about confidense in the software you download and use.

Take Ad-Aware, once a great application download, I heard they have been bought by ex-spammers. :crazy:

Gremlinn's Photo Gremlinn 26 Jan 2012
Totally agree with you all. When a security product lays in the same bed as a product which itself will flag, i kinda lose confidence in it's ability or programming to alert you to a problem. This is one of the main reasons to use a layered tactic in your personal security.
If one program can't or WON'T alert on a problem, one of the others in my arsenal will!

Claw's Photo Claw 27 Jan 2012
Money,,,,there's the reason we all do what we do. Need it, literally can't live without it. BUT,,there should never be any reason "to sleep with the enemy" to get it.(unless,,,,nevermind). Anyway ,this appears to be a rapidly occurring trend,,a general practice you may call it. In the long run we maybe faced with a "use it or lose it" situation when it comes to some security devices,,and if and when this happens ,,we will be faced with choosing the "lesser of two evils". With that also comes the question,,,"how much faith and trust can I put into the security of my computer"???? The only ones who may be able to really answer that are ,other security vendors doing the samething or users whos' computers are now inoperable.

Gremlinn's Photo Gremlinn 27 Jan 2012
SOMEBODY's dirty mind is showinggg..not saying any names..hehehe

Too true, my friend; money makes the world go round. I try to stay on top of any kind of security tools or methods by surfing the web and seeing what diff sites are chatting about. I layer my protection to cover as many bases as i can without having them conflict. Sandboxes are great to use, and if i had a stronger pc, i'd certainly go the virtual route.