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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Lionstail's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I've been contacted by a company called Key Windows about advertising with them. Their software doesn't strike me as bad as the really horrible adware/spyware, but I think it may fall into that category anyway.

    The software comes listed as a browser upgrade. What it does is 1) allow users to put a keyword into the navigation bar; and 2) on various search engines it puts a banner add on the top of the screen relating to the product being searched for.

    For now, I've turned them down, getting a somewhat uncomfortable feeling about dealing with them. However, I'm curious to know whether this falls under the definition of adware that users here are opposed to.

    Thanks, Dave

  2. #2
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    In short, anything which monitors what you search for, or where you go is considered Spyware.

    This is why Alexa falls into the Spyware category, since that is essentially its main task, although it is more upfront about its purpose, and how it uses the data that it collects.

    Anything which alters the data received online (search results, etc) without the site owners permission is Adware.

    Even if the program 'seems' harmless, unless all users who download it, do so willingly, with full disclosure (i.e. not bundled, with its terms & purpose hidden) it is a paracite, rarely have I seen where these helpers are fully explained to the end-user.

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It's both Adware and spyware that almost exclusively get put on systems by drive-by insalls or hidden bundling. No benefit to any surfer whatsoever. Just another Adwhore browser hijacker sucking off PPCSE budget money while poaching on SERPs and Adwards/Overture listings.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  4. #4
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I've been learning a lot about these programs over the last couple of months. I'm also getting email spam from them.

    Any company that offers to drive traffic to my sites by fooling around with a surfer's computer is suspect. Traffic or not, I'm not gonna tarnish my reputation by flashing a banner in somebody's face that is not a part of the site they requested to see.

    In addition, what these people say they do and what they actually do are not always the same. I don't trust them. No telling what kind of bad stuff is bundled with their package.

  5. #5
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    Your uncomfortable feeling was 100% correct.

    keywindows.com is hiding behind Domains By Proxy (never a good sign if they claim to be a legit company). Tracking down their whois leads to search-climbers.net, which reveals them as being 'Keywords, LLC'/'Keywords Inc' - known installers of parasites through bundling and drive-by downloads.

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