Most of you who read this have probably noticed that every time you visit a Website, even most of those dedicated supposedly to just providing “useful” information, you are either flooded with a multitude of offers to buy this, that or something else, or there are tons of those annoying click through advertisements and flashing banners.
Well here’s an opportunity to really get something that does exactly what it is supposed to do, and it’s free. Yes, you read it correctly, free. You know, like in “no charge”. Relax, there are no hitches, no catches, no strings and most important, it is freeware written by a gentlemen that values his reputation and his relationship with people. Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation, the company that has brought SpinRite to the computer industry, has now brought another gem to the computing public.
SpinRite is used to prevent hard drives from crashing or at the least warning the user of an impending problem. SpinRite can even be used after a crash, as it will pick up all the pieces, recover your data and put everything back together. Obviously if the disk will not run, not even SpinRite can help you, but for the multitude of crashes that occur, SpinRite is an excellent product.
This page though is not about SpinRite, it is about a subject important to all of us, “Privacy on the Internet”.
Quoting from Gibson research Corporation’s Website, “The news media has carried many stories about Real Networks who were caught ‘red handed’ secretly profiling their users’ listening habits, Aureate/Radiate and Conducent Technologies whose advertising, monitoring, and profiling software sneaks into our machines without our knowledge or permission, Comet Cursor which secretly tracks our web browsing, GoHip who hijacks our web browser and alters our email signatures . . . and many other hopeful and exploitive newcomers on the horizon.”
“Online profiling & tracking “privacy statements”, and backchannel “spyware” license agreements, invariably adopt identical cop-out terminology. They state that “no personally identifiable information” is being collected. It has been shown that in many instances this is an outright lie in itself, but even when, or if, it is true, I (Steve Gibson) submit that these “identity stealing profilers” are nonetheless profiting from valuable information that has been stolen from us without our informed consent.”
This lack of ethics on the part of some of these companies has led to Steve Gibson and company developing a small piece of software (freeware) that will help you identify whether or not you have become a victim of these tactics. This particular freeware version of OptOut, while thorough, is only a precursor to an as yet still in development commercial version.
Okay, so what is OptOut?
OptOut is designed to warn its user when any spyware known to the program has entered the users computer, and provides the user with the option of immediate or later removal. While the current freeware release of OptOut is presently only aware of the Aureate spyware, you will see tabs that contain grayed-out mentions of “Conducent/Timesink” and “Comet Cursor”. OptOut does not currently detect or remove these, but the forthcoming commercial release of OptOut will detect and remove all spyware known to the program. OptOut is extremely easy to use and comes in its own executable download format.
To read more about OptOut, including FAQ’s and extensive information about what some unscrupulous companies are doing to gain information about you, click this link. Read about OptOut.
To download the freeware version of OptOut now, click this link. Download!
SpinRite and OptOut are registered trademarks of the Gibson Research Corporation!