Category Archives: Web Browsers

Beware of ‘Sneakware’

Have you opened up your internet browser recently only to find that there are two or three new toolbars installed?  Or perhaps there are new icons on your desktop and you have no idea where they came from?  This is Sneakware.

Companies are being paid to sneak their software on to our computers.  These are not small firms just trying to make a few extra bucks when you download a trial version of their game.  Now there are big firms doing the same thing, companies like Java, Adobe, and Yahoo.

Each time you update Java now it will try to load Google Chrome and the Google toolbar.  Installing the Yahoo toolbar brings with it four or five other programs that will interfere with your browser.

To prevent this we must all break a long held habit.  While you are installing software or updates, you have to pay attention to and read the license agreements.  Not every line and detail but enough to make sure you are agreeing to install only the software you want.  Read the text next to any radio buttons or check boxes.  Gone are the days when you could just click past all of these screens to get what you want.

This phenomenon will only get worse.  These companies are being paid for each program they can install on your system.  I am sure it pays well because we are seeing it more and more.  Paying close attention when you are installing a product will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.  Beware of Sneakware!O365 banner2

Internet Explorer 10 broke my favorite website!!

Nobody likes IE10.

Bank websites don’t work on it. News websites don’t work on it. Porn sites don’t work on it.

GOOD! We’re getting what we’ve been asking for from Microsoft forever. IE10 is the most secure browser ever released by Microsoft and is far more effective than it’s nearest competitor, Google Chrome. Firefox, Opera and Safari fall waaayyy back from there.ie10

NSS Labs, one of the world’s leading information security research and advisory companies, recently released a study showing that IE10 blocked 99.96% of malicious software from downloading. That means that only 4 of every 1000 malicious downloads got past IE10 vs 170 of every 1000 for Chrome. Safari and Firefox blocked around 10% and Opera a frightening 1.9%!

If your favorite/most needed website doesn’t work, why blame Microsoft? The IE10 development platform was released in April 2011. Companies have had over two years to work out any bugs. If they are committed to keeping your data secure, why haven’t they made their website compatable with the most secure browser on the market?

So, while sometimes the only choice you have to use your favorite website is to download Google Chrome, remember that you are instantly more vunerable to malicious downloads. It’s not our choice.