Does GuruNet contain Spyware?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Doug L. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

After reading your wonderful acticle on GuruNet, I downloaded and installed it on my machine. To my surprise, my Spyware detection utility (SpyDoctor) reported GuruNet as a malware BHO (Browser Helper Object). Can you comment on this? "

Side note: a Browser Helper Object is a 'plug-in' for Internet Explorer which allows software developers to customize and control browsing sessions. BHO's are typically instantiated [initialized] by .DLL files which are located in the Windows System / System32 folder.

My response:

Unfortunately, your Spyware detector has given a false positive. While it is true that many Spyware parasites operate with a Browser Helper Object, it is just plain wrong to assume that all BHO's are malicious in their intent.

Before announcing GuruNet to the list, I did extensive digging through Google to see if there were any legitimate gripes about GuruNet's BHO technology. Thankfully, there were none; in fact, the majority of the users commenting on GuruNet not only embraced it for its wealth of information, but appreciated GuruNet for intuitive and friendly interface.

That was enough assurance for me. But, just to be triple-sure, I contacted Jay Bailey at over the weekend after receiving Doug's email, and asked Jay if any previous versions of GuruNet have ever contained third-party ad software. His official response was:

" GuruNet has and never will [contain Spyware]. GuruNet only contacts our server when you trigger it [using the ALT + Click technology], and the only information it sends to our servers is your query term. Any time [GuruNet] turns up on a Spyware list, we contact the software companies ... and they always remove us from their lists and [they usually] apologize. Unfortunately, a lot of Spyware removers don't have it down to a science yet. If [anyone on your subscriber list] wishes to contact us with details, we will surely address the issue and clarify to their satisfaction, guaranteed. "

So there you have it. GuruNet is not only a convenient information tool that saves time, it's free to use, never expires, and has never / will never contain Spyware. I personally use GuruNet and highly recommend it!

Side note: If you ever have doubt about whether or not a program you've downloaded off the Internet contains Spyware, simply visit Google and type in the name of the program, followed by the word "Spyware". If there are a lot of web pages (forums usually) where many users are complaining of software in question, then it is a safe bet that you shouldn't install the software on your computer.

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