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AOL 9.0 Behaving Badly. Recommendation – Do Not Install.

AOL’s Free software was recently accused of general bad behavior – not quite malware or spyware, but still no good for PC’s. Interesting. With the latest defections and clear reduction in subscribers, this is not the kind of publicity AOL needs.

SADA has *always* been anti-AOL when it came to business-specific computers. Having AOL installed on business computers has always caused inexplicable issues, slow-downs, changes in default settings in the operating system – things generally disliked by anyone having to manage those PC’s. We’ve done tons of migrations for companies FROM AOL email, for instance, to Microsoft Exchange, and other business-grade email and collaboration suites.

Details from the PC World article below:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,126928-c,aol/article.html

Source report from StopBadware.org:
http://stopbadware.org/reports/reportdisplay?reportname=aol082706

Reasons for calling AOL 9.0 Free Version “Badware”:

Installs additional software without disclosure (Deceptive installation)

Forces users to take an action (Interferes with computer use)

Adds AOL toolbar in Internet Explorer (Makes changes to other software without disclosure)

Adds additional icons to default Internet Explorer toolbar (Makes changes to other software without disclosure)

Adds to “Favorites” in Internet Explorer (Modifies other software without disclosure)

Adds AOL Deskbar to the user’s taskbar (Modifies other software without disclosure)

Updates software automatically (Deceptive installation)

Fails to uninstall software completely (Unacceptable uninstallation)

Recommendations to AOL from this Orgnization:

Disclose during installation all of the additional software that will be installed, and seek the user’s consent to their installation.

Do not force users to take actions by presenting dialogue boxes that cannot be closed.

Disclose to the user during installation that additional components will be added to Internet Explorer—namely, the AOL toolbar, new items in Favorites, and additional icons in the default toolbar.

Disclose during installation that AOL Deskbar will be added to the user’s taskbar.

Tell users during installation about any software that will automatically update and ask them for their consent.

Do not leave AOL processes running after uninstallation.

Recommendation to Users:

We currently recommend that users do not install the version of AOL software that we tested, unless the user is comfortable with the level of risk we identify or until the application is updated consistent with the recommendations in this report.

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