February 14, 2010

You Don't Need Toolbars

Buon giorno. One of my goomahs sent me an e-card for Valentine's Day. (Kinda gets you right here, doesn't it?) Although I don't like sending e-cards very much (aside from embarrassingly sappy stuff, some of them also spam people), I clicked on "send a card back" button. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a requirement that I install their toolbar.

I don't need a toolbar installed. And I am insulted that Egreetings requires their toolbar to use their service.

Oh, sure, they claim it's "spyware free" and so forth. But by it's nature (being required to use their service), they become spyware by default. Plus, they crow about it being free. Yes, because of the advertising. Egreetings is insulting our intelligence.

"Why do you hate toolbars so much, Cowboy Bob?"

Several reasons, Skippy, if you didn't catch on the first time. First, they clutter up your system and slow it down. Second, they are often spyware and malware. (Take a look at this monstrosity from My Web Search.) I've been consulted to help people remove some of these things and been surprised that they've been click happy, installing a stack of browser toolbars. Some were friendly, like Yahoo or Google's toolbars that go away when you ask them to. Others were vicious, and I had to ask Hal the Hacker to drop the assignment that I had given him so he could help me help someone else. If it's that bad for me, it'll be that bad for you, capice?

Trust me on this: Browser toolbars are clutter at best. You don't need them.

Addendum: Someone landed on this article because they searched for "why does egreetings toolbar still show up in my browser". Although I cannot help with that directly (have not had the experience), a stubborn bit of software can usually be made to be a good spirit and go into the light with the help of Revo Uninstaller. Use with care! If you get in a hurry, you can create problems for yourself. Follow the directions carefully and you should be fine.

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