Christopher Lentz | November 04, 2013 06:35 PM
We've all be the victim of the occasional toolbar install. In fact some of the most used software on the internet now installs these annoyances unless you select the "Custom" install option. Some of these toolbars can even mislead users and send them to dangerous or even malicious search results. Let's look at the toolbars that you should avoid or uninstall immediately as well as a couple tips to avoid them in the future.
The Ask.com toolbar is one of the worst defenders of the internet. Even more disturbing is the fact that this software has been distributed by such technology giants as Sun and Symantec. This Browser Helper Object (BHO) has even been known to target children and uninstall without even asking for user permission. In previous versions it also rearranged the users browser URL bar and pushed it to the right. This caused users to enter their items in the Ask Search and not the URL bar. With so many shady practices, this toolbar should be a top priority for removal on your business network.
MyWebSearch is another shady character in the toolbar realm. This software has been known to be extremely difficult to remove from user machines. At one point this software was installed on some new Dell and HP computers. However, due to the ad-ware like characteristics the software now is much more subtle. Despite it's calmer ad functionality, Malwarebytes and SUPERAnitSpyware still consider this software as a potentially unwated program...and we do too! Kick it to the curb by downloading their removal tool from their website.
The IAC toolbars target children through offers for free Facebook graphics, free online TV, and many, many other means. In fact, they have over 50 toolbars that can clutter your browser, inject advertisements in the first two pages of any search results pulled from their toolbars search. Some of the ads that are displayed have over-sized clickable blocks that can prevent you from even accessing the page you are trying to view. This one deserves the trash as well, so click that Uninstall and get it gone!
Preventing the installation of these toolbars is more work than you might think. In fact, the Ask toolbar has been know to have a 10 minute install delay to keep users from uninstalling it immediately. Only after the user opens their browser to they see it and remove it. The key to preventing these installs is to always choose the "Custom" install option when it is available. To avoid the drive by downloads, you will have to steer clear of sites that you are not familiar with. If you are unsure about a website you can always check it with Norton's Site Safe tool here.
If you think you might have some of these on your business network, give us a call today to let our certified engineers remove those headaches for you!