How Single Click Can Save Your Browser from Unwanted Toolbar & Addon

gom media player

Dubious applications for Windows that offer you free smileys and dictionary (cough Babylon cough) and automatically install annoying browser toolbars & add-ons are no new thing. But of late, scores of trusted applications have also joined the league by packing in similar spamware in their setup.

Applications such as µTorrent, KCleaner, AVG, Veoh Player, GOM Media Player are a few examples of widely used applications that try to slip in browser toolbars, add-ons and even try changing the browser settings. They not only slow down the browsers, but sometimes can be malicious too.

Dealing at the Browser Level

Modern browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Chrome, thankfully, block installation of extensions / add-ons from third party applications by default. Internet Explorer, unlike others, requires the setting be enabled by following these steps:

  1. Open Tools by pressing Alt + X and go to Internet Options
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab
  3. Un-check the Enable third-party browser extensions option

From my experience, however, the default restriction on toolbars and extensions from third party applications doesn’t always ensure a spam-free browsing experience. The applications often somehow manage to sneak in, bypassing the restriction.

Avoiding Automatic Installation of Browser Toolbars and Add-ons – The Right Way

utorrent

No matter how advance the browsers become, developers will always manage to find a way of sneaking in their toolbars and other spam-wares. But avoiding them doesn’t require a genius mind either. All you need is a careful pair of eyes.

[alert-note]Admit it, we are all Usain Bolt when it comes to accepting Terms and Conditions.[/alert-note]

During app installations, do not keep clicking the Next button without giving any heed to the installation options. If there are any check-boxes then you need to read their labels carefully. By not doing so you let apps take advantage of your ignorance and silently install browser toolbars and even change the way how your browsers behave.

For instance, µTorrent and GOM Media Player, two applications that everyone is aware of, bundle toolbars and even changes browser settings. But the amount of annoyance they cause is still very minimal when compared to what some others do. KCleaner, a CCleaner alternative, which allows you to clean temporary and useless files from your computer, is one of the worst offenders we’ve ever seen despite its super efficient functionality.

kcleaner

KCleaner includes several spamware add-ons, whose information is wrapped in a disguised License Agreement dialog — something that we are accustomed to agreeing without reading a single word. To give you an idea about KCleaner’s nuisance, it installs no less than three different spyware add-ons along with a Google Chrome extension that displays its own advertisements in various website (this took me a while to figure out).

That’s it! A careful pair of eyes and single click to uncheck unwanted things. Nothing more is required to keep your browsers safe.

[alert-warning] P.S.: If you’re a developer and your app does this, I’m going to find you and I’ll kill you. [/alert-warning]
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Lindsey Vonn - July 1, 2013

I’ve read your full article and it was really helpful for me. thanks for sharing.

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Dr. Hubert Hechabarria - July 5, 2013

I am really fed up with all the sharware software that is packing in Toobars, ADDon in their software. I use EULAlyzer software that acts like a lawyer and analizes the entire user agreement and reply back in detail all wording that is strange, and third party software, that includes toolbars and ADDon software. (Developers some I amy say have found away to install the toolbars and ADDon even when you have unchecked the boxes stating that you do not want them.

AVG is very good at hiding Addon in your registry that can only be found on a manual basis, when you uncheck the box, saying you do not want the Addon, and will not be in your Browswer Addon. I can understand free software performing this dangerous act, because they need the extra money to support their webpage and software. Shareware should be considered a “crime”, when you are paying for the software. They damn sure do not need the extra money or kickbacks.

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Steave - August 10, 2013

Nice Read , Yeah it true few shareware software comes with Crappy Toolbar which run our pc like hell , So it better to keep your eyes wide open while installing any Shareware or freeware software .During installing any software weather freeware ,shareware or even purchased one Avoid Next , next , next With eyes closed also read there terms and condition

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Kundan Raj Bhattarai - December 11, 2013

Hi there. I used to install add on software too while installing the main software. But later as you said I started looking carefully while installing the software. Instead of selecting recommended option I used to select customize option for installing software so that I can prevent myself from installing software. Later on I knew about a software unchecky which will warn you if a shareware or freeware software is trying to get installed.

Reply
    Rohit Langde - December 11, 2013

    Exactly Kundan, These freeware developers somehow have to earn. So, they cleverly hide such additional items in installation process.
    90% of people may have habit of pressing NEXT >> NEXT without even looking what’s going on. This proves beneficial for them. So, be careful next time 🙂

    Reply

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