Is the Hotbar software spyware?

Question

Is there any validity to the Hotbar software being spyware?

Thank you!

Answer

This question was answered on August 17, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Yes indeed Did you install in yourself? If not it was probably obtained while surfing the net You may have unintentionaly clicked on a link containing malicious software or script Using programs like spybot search and destroy and adaware would most likely fix this problem I would also recommend using a firewall if you don't already have one.

here are some useful links

http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

installing and running these programs should repair and prevent further occourances.

you may also remove it manually

How to I Remove HotBar?

You can remove HotBar through Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel, however it leaves behind some tracks that will have to be removed manually After removing the program through the Add/Remove section, you'll want to run Regedit and remove the following keys in the registry.

HKey_Current_User\Software\Hotbar

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Hotbar

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\B195B3B3-8A05-11D3-97A4-0004ACA6948E

HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\User Agent\Post Platform\Hotbar 3.0

You can also delete the 'HotBar 3.0' string from

HKey_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\User Agent

What is HotBar?

According to the HotBar website, Hotbar is an add-on that instantaneously converts your email and browser applications into powerfully personalized instruments of enhanced functionality and visual appeal The Hotbar Browser Toolbar presents buttons on your Internet Explorer browser that change while you surf to relate to the website you visit These buttons also provide you instant access to Search, Yellow Pages and more! The Browser toolbar also spices up your Internet Explorer with your chosen image (skin) picked from a huge variety of skins numbering into the thousands found in hundreds of galleries at www.hotbar.com

The Hotbar Email Toolbar is added to your mail (Outlook , Outlook Express, Hotmail and Yahoo mail) This bar offers a wide assortment of options for customizing the design of your emails with Backgrounds, eCards, Animation and even a Business Card of your own design

However, HotBar does track web site visits and also has an autoupdate feature that updates automatically So there are both privacy and security concerns with this add-on program.

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Author

Posted by Devin of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on August 17, 2004