Foxit Reader now comes with unwanted programs

I have to be careful here, so I don’t get sued, but my recommended PDF reading software now comes with Conduit Search and maybe SearchProtect, which some people label as malware or virus.

The latest version of the free Foxit Reader has an option during the installation to opt-out of the added software.  Since most people just click through with OK or Accept they’re unlikely to notice they are installing additional software.  Conduit and Search Protect are therefore ‘potentially unwanted programs”, or PUPs.

If you have these unwanted programs on your computer, contact me and I will remove them for you if you can’t do it yourself.

Conduit is adware, meaning it delivers adverts to people who have it installed.  It’s a ‘browser hijack’ which takes over your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc) and instead of using your chosen search engine (Bing, Google, or whoever), it uses Conduit’s search engine which delivers adverts and tracks your internet searches (and maybe other internet use).

Search Protect is software that makes it very difficult (virtually impossible) to change your search provider back to Google, Bing, or whoever you choose.

Foxit, I assume, generate income from the installations or use of these unwanted programs.  If they didn’t get income from them, why would they add them to their installation package?

These sneaky add-ins are getting more and more difficult to uninstall, and I’m seeing many more of them.  Always take time when installing software or updating software to make sure you un-tick (un-check) the additional software “offers”, even if they seem tempting.  The key is, if you dodn’t go looking for that software, don’t install it.

I will uninstall Foxit Reader from all my PCs and use an alternative (when I find one).

Again, these ‘infections’ can be difficult to remove.  Contact me if you would like me to remove them for you.

Using AdBlock Plus? Support the sites you use and like by white-listing them.

AdBlock Plus - Options

Using AdBlock Plus or other ad blockers?

Please consider white-listing sites you like and find useful, it helps support them financially.

I don’t have ads on my site, I detest (almost) all advertising.  Then again, I don’t update my site very often.  For some people though, their passion or their livelihood depends on advertising revenue, the income they get from ads that are displayed on their sites, or ads on their site that are clicked.  In other cases, behemoths like Google provide us with all these ‘free’ services because they earn (huge amounts) of money from advertising.


AdBlock Plus - WhitelistIf you like a site or a service, consider helping them out by white-listing their site for ads, or making a donation directly.

To white-list a site, click on the ABP icon, click Options, and add the domain to the whitelist.

Just an idea.

Google’s interest-based advertising looks like Phorm/Webwise/spyware

Google will replace their current Adsense advertising with Phorm-style interest-based advertising with effect from 1st April 2009.  They’re advising website owners to update their privacy policy becuase of this, but I don’t think that doing that is sufficient.

Their current Adsense ads show advertisements that are based on the content of the site on which the ads are shown.  For example, on this site the ads might include F1 race tickets or karting companies.  Google’s new Interest-based ads will show ads based on websites that the person has previously visited.  So, when someone visits a site that contains Google ads, Google assumes that the person is interested in the content of that site and records that person’s interest in it.  When that person visits another site with Google ads, Google will show ads based on the database of what Google considers interesting to that person.

This sounds like the Phorm (AKA Webwise) privacy scandal that BT and other ISPs got into before.  Basically, they installed equipment an advertising company’s equipment that monitored websites their customers visited, and served adverts related to those previous websites.  The Information Commissioner (Data Protection Act) and the EU law enforcers were concerned that privacy was being breached.  It seems that BT (and maybe Virgin and TalkTalk) are going to introduce this spyware-like technology at some point in the future.

Getting back to Google, they sent an email to website owners saying “your privacy policy will need to reflect the use of interest-based advertising”.  Well, I don’t have a privacy policy because I don’t collect personal data.  I’m certainly not going to spend time and money getting one drawn up so Google can earn more money by placing interest-based ads on my site; ads that might have nothing to do with the content of my site.

And having a privacy policy for a website is not sufficient legally, in my opinion.  In order to view the privacy policy, someone has to visit my website.  By visiting my website, their visit is logged by Google before the person has a chance to decide whether they want that data recorded or not.  So, in effect, data about their visit is collected without their consent, and that’s illegal in the UK.

Quite simply, this whole thing worries me.  It sounds like spyware.  After all, people’s browsing habits are being tracked without their express permission, and that to me is spyware.  So, come 1st April, my site will no longer be showing Google ads.  That leaves more space for me to add things that my visitors actually want to see.

Comments welcome, for or against.

The ads are here. I hate ads!

Edit 24/5/12 – Ads were removed ages ago.  If you want to support this site, please become a client of mine (for Computer Services or Financial Services), or contact me to make a donation.  Thanks.


I hate advertisments.  Sorry if you hate them too, but I need to use every income stream available to me at the moment.  I’ve tried to make them subtle; no flashing graphics, no lurid colours.  I’m hoping they’ll generate a little income for me as I get the the visitor numbers up.

I only get a few pennies when an ad is clicked, so I’m not expecting to get rich.  But please take a look at the ads from time to time, and if there’s anything that genuinely interests you, please go ahead and visit the advertiser’s site.



PS. Please don’t click multiple times in the hope of sending me cash.  Google is wise to that and will cancel my account if such ‘abuse’ takes place. Ta very much.

Blog News – I got Google Ads!

This post is not designed to encourage you to click the ads!

I need to earn money to help fund my karting habit. It’s hard to get sponsors that pay me, so I thought I’d put some ads on the site in the hope they’ll generate some income.

I love sponsors, but hate ads. I’ll do everything I can to promote a sponsor (but I’ll only take sponsors whose products I believe in). When it comes to ads though, I don’t want loads of flashing ads all over the place, so I’ve gone for something subtle, between the blog banner and the blog entry.

They’ve been up for a couple of weeks now, and although I don’t have any control over what ads are shown, Google does a good job of matching the ads to the site content.

Currently, clicking on a link takes you to another page which contains the ads themselves. Clicking one of those ads takes you to the advertiser’s page, and that’s what generates the income for me.

However, Google is very hot on making sure that people aren’t clicking ads just to generate income for themselves or others. They log the IP address of the computer that views the ad, and they block the account if the suspect that it’s not genuine (eg multiple clicks per IP address/computer). So don’t go clicking ads unless you’re genuinely interested, or I’ll lose this feature and the income it generates.

Trouble is, the ads interest me, but I can’t click for fear of being banned!

If you want to support me, the best way is to tell people about this site. The more visitors the site gets, the more the ads get genuine interest (generating income for the advertisers and me), and maybe some paying sponsors will contact me too. After all, I’d like to race professionally, but can only do so with sponsorship.

Talking of sponsors, let me remind you that I have a sponsor, ik Software. They specialise in Web Development, PDA Software, and Graphic Design. They’ve got some pretty big clients, and some small ones (like me). I think they do a great job, and the customer service is excellent.