Are Browser Toolbars Really Malware?

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Are Browser Toolbars Really Malware?

Like This Blog 0 Mike Danseglio
Added by June 25, 2014

Browser toolbars are really common. You may even have one installed in your browser right now as you read this article. Whether you use Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, or a less common browser, software companies make toolbars that integrate with your browser.

For this context I need to define malware as undesired software that may perform functions or tasks that you don’t want or don’t know about. For example, you might install the Google toolbar to simplify launching searches, but you might not want that toolbar to store your queries and deliver targeted marketing based on those searches.

In short, you should always assume that toolbars potentially contain malware. They are software that runs inside Windows and attaches to all browser communications. Unless you know exactly what functions the toolbar performs and are willing to run that software on your computer indefinitely, you should avoid installing toolbars. And if you have toolbars already installed, I strongly recommend you remove them with a specialized tool like Malwarebytes or Spybot.

Browse safely!

Mike Danseglio -CISSP / CEH
Interface Technical Training – Technical Director and Instructor

Mike Danseglio teaches Security classes at Interface Technical Training. His classes can be attended in Phoenix, Arizona or online from anywhere in the world with RemoteLive.

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