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Toolbars, Be Gone!

Toolbars: Not So Useful Anymore

On the Internet, there are many different toolbars for every type of browser. At first glance, some of these may seem like a good idea to download. Some users may even be more comfortable with a toolbar from the days when the Internet and computers became more accessible to the general population: everyone had a toolbar or two on their browser.

That isn’t the case anymore.

For reasons we’ll get into below, these toolbars could actually be your computer’s first step into becoming an infected, slowed-down, and deteriorated mess.

What’s the harm?

My first reaction when I see a client’s computer with toolbars is to run virus scans. Yes, that’s a plural “scans.” Many toolbars carry spyware, malware, adware, and other infections. These can turn your nice, new computer into a run-down mess.  They can also continue infecting you after they’re initially installed, such as each time you use the toolbar.

Most toolbars will change or “enhance” your searches and homepage, which will redirect you to pages that their sponsors paid for (often, infected websites). This “enhanced” search tends to also remove results that do not favor their sponsors, making your searches unreliable. Not only does your computer suffer, but toolbars can affect the way you use the Internet.

On top of the redirects, they slow your browser’s performance, extending page load times and sometimes making it impossible to use some pages at all. Some are so full of attachments that the user may not even know what half the buttons even do.

Sometimes, they may have what seems to be an important function behind them. However, it’s much safer and equally convenient to save whatever function you want to use as a bookmark or favorite in your browser instead. Want a Maps button? Favorite your preferred map website such as Google Maps. Want easily-accessed weather reports? Bookmark The Weather Channel or add one of the Weather apps to your start menu on your computer.

Toolbars are not worth using as most of them will just continuously cause your computer to become infected and compromised.  Once upon a time, they had more of a purpose, but since their glory days, they’ve become nothing but a new avenue for viruses to get into your computer. Take it from us: avoid toolbars. Your device will thank you!

(Image Source: iCLIPART)