Death By Toolbar

From the Bleeding Edge blog.

Accountants never use their business machines for personal business. They do not scan Facebook or Twitter. They do not play games. They do not go to porn sites.

Really.

But they do have friends and relatives who do, and who end up with toolbars, search engines and ads they don’t want and never requested.

Sadly, most consumers have almost no idea where these changes came from, or how to get back to the search engines and toolbars they actually wanted. But they know who to ask: their friendly local relative who happens to be a CPA or tax professional who knows computer stuff.

(Warning note: no good deed goes unpunished. If you help a relative with a computer problem and ANYTHING goes wrong with that machine within two years, it will be your fault. “It worked fine until _______ worked on it. They must have done something to it…”)

So here are the ways to fix the problem, courtesy of Dave’s Computer Tips (not me, BTW) at www.davescomputertips.com/avoiding-death-by-toolbar. Truth is, most of these aggravations are caused by users who simply do not pay attention to the installation defaults in their rush to get the “free” games, utilities or other software they want.

The worst offender is the updates to the Java video system. Java updates by default install the Ask.com search engine, which has nothing to do with the Java system but makes Oracle money for every computer it is installed on. Since it is virtually impossible to navigate the web without Java, most folks will sooner or later have their search engine hijacked by Ask.com.

So what do you do?

Or only use your work computers for work, and avoid all of these problems. But in case you do not, see the above.

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