Tuesday, April 28, 2009

BitDefender Joins the Dark Side

To quote my friend and one of the most ethical people I know, Bill Pytlovany, the developer of WinPatrol:
BitDefender has joined the dark side. By end of year, @WinPatrol may be alone in not having an Ask Toolbar. http://bit.ly/NcP3C
The link from the Twitter quote leads to a thread at Wilders Security where member EsoxLucius confirms with a screen capture the inclusion of Ask in the BitDefender product:
- This is not a masked ask toolbar, it is a BitDefender toolbar with and added search box (in this case ask)

- No search, browsing habits, browsing history is captured and sent anywhere.

- The ask.com search box is mentioned in the first step of the installation.

- The choice regarding what toolbar to use is not mine to make and I can't really say why IAC.
As a result of the inclusion of the Ask search engine in the BitDefender Anti-Phising product, Calendar of Updates (CoU) has discontinued providing update information on BitDefender. (See the CoU list of products with the Ask Toolbar.)

Granted, it is stated in the installation of the BitDefender Anti-Phishing toolbar that Ask is included. The problem is how many people read beyond seeing the buttons to click Next > Next > Finish?

Based on the history of IAC/Ask, one can only guess that BitDefender also succumbed to the pay-per-install offer by IAC. The popular browsers (IE 7, IE 8, Firefox, Opera and Safari) all include anti-phishing. A separate anti-phishing toolbar certainly appears redundant to me, particularly one that forces the use of a pay-per install search engine.

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...


Francisco Melasce said...

Well I don't see any problem in having the ask toolbar on my antiphishing toolbar as long as the antiphishing toolbar is free. I bought bitdefender internet security 2009 that has also this anti-phishing toolbar but no ask.com search box, so i'm not affected.

HappyAndyK said...

The list of companies moving over to the dark side appears to be becoming longer ...

Matasabaleno said...

Francisco Melasce is right, if you want good protection use something paid liked internet security from bitdefender.

Corrine said...

Thank you for your comments. Everyone must choose what works best for them.

Personally, I'm with HappyAndyK and will avoid security software that partners with IAC/Ask.