ZoneAlarm Now Deploys Browser Toolbar

Prechecked option included in the setup file

  The prechecked option included in the setup file
In case you're not one of those tech-savvy users, you probably leave most options included in the programs' installation files unchanged, because the 'developer often knows what's better for you'. But, what if you're asked to install additional programs such as browser toolbars that come with many other functions than the ones mentioned in the setup?

This is what seems to happen with ZoneAlarm, the famous security solution which now comes with a prechecked toolbar, called ZoneAlarm Spy Blocker. Although you may be tempted to believe this is only a security add-on for your browser, it isn't. It is actually the Ask search toolbar that allows you to search the web using the well-known search engine. Sure, it also includes the Spy Blocker, but do you think it's fair to install such toolbars on users' computers? And keep in mind that the option is prechecked, so many consumers will avoid changing it...

The new Spy Blocker toolbar caused difficulties for some ZoneAlarm users, who were shocked to see the Ask.com toolbar installed on their computer. For example, a post on the ZA forum published by 'NeedingHelp' reads: "I updated my ZoneAlarm Free to the current version 7.0.462.000 today. For the first time, I noticed it gave me the option to download the free Spy Blocker which I opted to do. Upon opening my browser I see that the Spy Blocker is there, but it also now lists 'search web' next to it, which is actually Ask.com. I didn't ask for this. Did I ok that in the licensing agreement (or whatever I agreed to)??. I trust ZoneAlarm not to do anything malicious so honestly, I didn't read it."

The answer came pretty fast from GeorgeV, a Guru member of the ZA forums. "Sorry, No! You get both the spysite blocker and search toolbar wrapped into one. You can't pick and choose its one install only. But it is optional and can be uninstalled if you don't want another toolbar in your browser and you can use ZAFree 7.0.462.000 without the Spy Blocker/Ask.com feature", he wrote.

It seems like the browser toolbar is included only in version 7.0.462.000, so in case you're using one of the previous releases, there's no Spy Blocker for you...

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By    18 Dec 2007, 10:40 GMT