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  1. #1
    Internet Cowboy
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    Web Surfers Changing Habits to Avoid Spyware
    Full Story

    And the parasites claim they have willing, opt-in users.
    YEAH RIGHT!!!


  2. #2
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    The thing that really pisses me is the fact that most of the Networks, CJ, Linkshare Performics etc. STILL think these guys are legit and only put their programs on computers when the owners specificaly ask for them

    What the hell do they need to make them believe that none of these thieving scumbag parasites will never be legit?
    One day parasites and their ilk will be made illegal, I bet a few Lawyers will be pissed off when the day comes.
    Mr. Spitzer is fetching it nearer

    YouTrek

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    What they need?

    They need the thieving scumbag parasites to stop making so much money for them.
    Money is the motivating factor here - not honesty, integrity, or anything else.

    The Networks themselves are the actual thieving scumbag parasites because they promote these programs and stand behind them regardless of their illegal activities.

    The only way to stop them is to get every webmaster and merchant online to stop promoting these programs themselves..

    That will never happen until these programs no longer make money for them.
    Money is the bottom line... as long as it's there to get - they will be there to get their share.

    It is a no win situation for affiliates like us.. we just have to wait until the public doesn't put up with it any more.. and that seems to be a long time coming..

    Hell SPAM is still profitable or you wouldn't see that anymore either. Even with the new laws and people being put in JAIL for nine years!!!

    I am afraid that we will all be dead and gone WAAAAAAAAY before a single parasite gets whats coming to them.

  4. #4
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    "The only way to stop them is to get every webmaster and merchant online to stop promoting these programs themselves.."

    Or just get it off computers.
    If you gave someone the choice between 2 computers. One with adware and one without, they'll pick the one without overwhelmingly. I think the only adware you'll see around in the future is adware where people knowingly download and want. And even then there could be problems if that adware pops advertising over other people's site or off their traffic. Adware is a doomed model.

  5. #5
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    What the hell do they need to make them believe that none of these thieving scumbag parasites will never be legit?
    I'm sure they believe it right now. But it's not in their best interests to say so.

    But a visit from The AG I Love to Diss, would probably be what it'd take to get them to dissociate themselves from parasites real quick. They still wouldn't admit to thinking anything was wrong before that, though...if they did, they'd open themselves up to a lot of liability.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Trust - I mean like EBATES - if they did not have any merchants in their list what would they have?? A Parasitic program that went no where..
    That is what I am talking about.

    All the merchants listed on EBATES only FUEL EBATES fire ..
    If the fuel was taken away -- the fire would go out.

    But convincing merchants to drop a "seemingly" profitable program no matter what the reason is -- is VERY Difficult.. I have spent the last three months communicating to merchants all the info on EBATES - and they won't budge.. so I don't promote them. I have given up trying to educate merchants and now only deal with merchants not listed with any parasites..

    As long as merchants refuse to remove themselves from parasitic programs
    there will ALWAYS BE PARASITES of some kind........

  7. #7
    Full Member Travelin Man's Avatar
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    "I have given up trying to educate merchants and now only deal with merchants not listed with any parasites.."


    Amen to that...It may hurt to ax some merchants but it needs to be done. I have even axed SAS merchants who have parasitic programs on other networks. They may be clean with SAS but they are still dirty in my opinion. There is no place in my program for merchants that play both sides of the fence.
    Travelin' Man

    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will lead you there." -- unknown

  8. #8
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    Question Is it so hard to fix?
    I tried reading through the parasiteware forum on here but didn't see much technical detail on how parasiteware grabs your commission.

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't the tracking technology (standalone, hosted, or network tracking) generally work this way:

    1. Customer clicks your affiliate link
    2. Tracking system puts a cookie on the browser's PC
    3. ... maybe some time elapses ...
    4. Customer buys the product
    5. Tracking system checks for the referral cookie and records the commission to the affiliate.

    I assume the parasite s/w is replacing your affid back in step 1 with theirs, so that the cookie is already compromised at this point. If that's the case, would it not be technically fairly easy to have the tracking system check the affid in step 1 against the referring url? If the affid is not the one that's supposed to be associated with your domain then mark the bad affid as a parasite and give credit to the correct affid. Maybe tell the customer at the same time and sell them some cleanup s/w.

    I could go on but just wanted to check if I am on the right path here - or is the parasiteware actually modifying/replacing the cookies? If that's the case then why not have some sort of unique cookie ID that is checked later at checkout. Just trying to see if the vendors can come up with some ways to help us all out here. An affiliate software vendor or network that can claim their technology weeds out parasites would make a killing, and the honest affiliates would be happier too.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  9. #9
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I assume the parasite s/w is replacing your affid back in step 1 with theirs, so that the cookie is already compromised at this point.
    No, it happens most often these days at step 3. After the customer has landed on the Merchant's site and it's been recorded as a click to you, the software will redirect back to the Merchant through their affiliate link overwriting your cookie.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Yep, Kellie's got that right for sure. There's variation but the vast majority of what I've observed is aimed as she said.

    Someday, the bean counters will figure out that eBates and the like isn't promoting and selling anything, just taking credit from others. On a merchants sales reports, it all looks great, in reality, where's the content, press releases, selling and pre-selling, advertising, community building, ppc spend, seo skills at work, websites developed for and about particular products and merchants and services - it's all pretend promotion and the merchants are being ripped off as well.

    We toil away doing all these things and more, and they suck off of us. At least we can have the satisfaction of knowing the expressions "you suck" and "suck me" apply to these ashwipes.

    The walls are eroding. They will begin to crumble as more backroom methods and tactics are exposed. Do something for your community to support that - talk to your merchants (UncleScooter wrote a form letter somewhere in here), make a donation to Ben Edelman's organization, listen to actionable items suggested by Mike/Ecomcity, Kellie, Haiko and more. Install anti-spyware on people's computers.

    Kellie - please dig out your post from a week or two ago - the one or two sentence post about how parasites don't have any Internet business except ours. I loved that post because of the naked truth it makes obvious. Please post it again for me here!

    And little ol me spends more ppc money on my merchants than the multi-million (perhaps billions in the aggregate) dollar parasites. I promote merchant's products. They try and take the credit. Eventually, they'll be exposed for the leeches that they are. Too lazy and too greedy to try and compete - toss some salt on these slugs! Watch them shrivel and die!

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Amen to all of that Donuts, as you certainly have outed the B-a-HO's every chance you get. Don't worry. Their hijack victims are coming with Tar & Feathers ...and a rope. Takes more liberal attitude, then I can muster, to think they can be reformed. Their merchnat's have about as much chance of seeing shopper friendly branded displays on those BHO sites then the outreach programs have turning pedophile preditors into Saints.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador AddHandler's Avatar
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    Kellie - please dig out your post from a week or two ago

    DITTO...
    I wanna read it since I missed it the first time!
    I must have been fishing or something.. "salmon fishing" not PHISHING
    LOL

    Thanks!!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Gotta love how they say "infection" yet some AMs say "they add value".
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Out today from the BBC an article showing consumers are getting enraged by the darkside of affiliate marketing.

    Spyware makes people wary online

    Spyware can clog PCs making them slow and unresponsive
    Fears over spyware have made more than 90% of American net users change their online behaviour, says a study.
    The dangers are making people swap browsers, avoid file-sharing programs and some websites says the Pew Internet and American Life Project research.

    The well publicised risk of losing personal data, having a browser hijacked or suffering endless pop-up ads is driving the change, said Pew.

    Surveys show that more than 80% of PCs are infected with unwanted spyware.

    Spyware is the name given to programs that surreptiously make their way on to Windows PCs and then subject users to pop-up adverts, hijack their start page, install bookmarks or gather information about browsing habits.

    The most malicious spyware programs lurk unseen on PCs and steal confidential information such as passwords or login details.

    Spyware victims

    Spyware and adware often travels alongside file-sharing programs or media files that people download from the web.


    Some people have swapped browsers to avoid problems
    Some websites also take advantage of bugs in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser to install spyware on the machines of people that visit.

    The dangers of spyware are making people wary of what they do online like no other net threat, said Susannah Fox, lead author on the Pew Internet study.

    "People are feeling less adventurous, less free to do whatever they want to do online," she said.

    The research found that 91% of people have made at least one change to the way they act online because of fears about spyware, though only 43% said they had fallen victim to the programs.

    Porn dangers

    Broadband users and those who visit pornographic sites or play games online were more likely to fall victim, the research showed.

    The dangers were making people scale back on some net activities, said Ms Fox.

    The Pew research found that 48% of those questioned have stopped visiting some websites for fear that they harbour spyware. File-sharing software has been abandoned by 25% of people because it often becomes bundled with adware.

    It also revealed that 18% of net users have started using an alternative web browser such as Firefox to avoid the security problems associated with Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

    Microsoft recently released anti-spyware software that helps people find and remove the malicious programs. (only this one leaves affiliate network cookies alone)

    Anti-spyware firm Webroot estimates that 88% of PCs harbour spyware programs and most machines are home to many different strains of the software.

    The Pew research found that though many people have changed online behaviour, 20% had not cleaned up their infected computer. Free anti-spyware programs such as AdAware and Spybot are used by many people to clean up their PCs.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  15. #15
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    That can be stopped
    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie aka Ms. B
    No, it happens most often these days at step 3. After the customer has landed on the Merchant's site and it's been recorded as a click to you, the software will redirect back to the Merchant through their affiliate link overwriting your cookie.

    Ok so how about this easy solution for the merchant:
    * You use the "1st affiliate lock in" feature of your affiliate software. i.e. don't drop more cookies if you get another afflink from that IP. This feature is available in some platforms, so no one should say it can't be done.

    Am I on old ground here with this line of thinking or am I on to something?

    -Peter

  16. #16
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    Last click gets the sale. That's usually the general rule, don't see that changing.

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    As soon as you change cookies from first click to last click you begin rewarding sites that don't convert (in fact they could be totally blank). Since most merchants have a higher margin than their affiliates, PPC bidding becomes useless for affs since the merchants much higher bids means your site never gets credit. And of course, the parasites will then just pop upon landing on any aff site (vs the merchants sites today) so that as your visitor lands on your site, the parasite "locks in" any credit that you could possibly hope to make - a minute later when your visitor clicks your aff link to visit a recommended merchant, their will already be a cookie set for that merchant by the parasites.

    First in makes things worse, and not just in regards to parasites.

  18. #18
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Kellie - please dig out your post from a week or two ago - the one or two sentence post about how parasites don't have any Internet business except ours. I loved that post because of the naked truth it makes obvious. Please post it again for me here!
    Is this the one you meant? http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread...143#post452143

    Ok so how about this easy solution for the merchant:
    * You use the "1st affiliate lock in" feature of your affiliate software. i.e. don't drop more cookies if you get another afflink from that IP. This feature is available in some platforms, so no one should say it can't be done.
    Aside from what others have mentioned with regards to first in cookie tracking, if that was to become the Industry norm instead of last in, the parasites would just reprogram to interfere at step #1 as you originally thought happened.

  19. #19
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    Hmmm I see your point. It doesn't matter what the order is. I'm not giving up on this one yet No matter what the cookie drop order is, can't the merchant system see that there are two affiliate links coming from the IP so close to each other? By keeping a count they could quickly see which affiliates are parasites.

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Parasitic affiliates are firm believers they have to add ZERO or negative value to any merchant AM they have in the pockets. It's a "see no evil ..here no evil" wink between the 2 as to when or how a valueless sales tracking cookie gets set. They both hide the pillaging of their merchant partners Ad budgets, equating the quantity of stolen commissions to the worth of the BHO.... verses the value-add affiliate slave having their cookie constantly in hijack jeopardy.

    The only rule the BHO and their AM partners fear is the imposing a physical click requirement and monitoring of autosetting routine. That's also why only the legit AM even concern themselves with tracking down cookie stuffers. The others welcome any mass cookie sets as it pads their sales bonuses. The glee of a AM controlling 5-10 major merchants, when a new forced click perp arrives on the scene, must be a site to see. Do they ring a bell at those hired gun AM firms when a new commission thief arrives to ride under the radar?
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  21. #21
    Full Member asr_guy's Avatar
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    Ok so there is a technical way+some investigation required, but why don't all the merchants do it. Sounds like you are saying that some merchants don't see the benefit... So as affiliates are you saying the only way to strike back is for us to educate the merchants that it's better ROI to get rid of the parasites?

    One way is for us to praise the merchants that do this and another is to have the merchants give examples or case studies showing that it pays to be parasite free. I don't think I am being idealistic here - money usually talks

    Cheers,
    Peter

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