Adobe is bundling Shockwave Player with Norton's security software

By on January 25, 2012, 5:30 PM

It's recently come to our attention that the installer for Adobe Shockwave Player is coming bundled with an optional installation of Norton Security Scan. The bundle was pointed out by Martin Brinkmann from gHacks and confimed by our Editor in Chief, Julio Franco, when he was prompted by Firefox's latest version to upgrade the Flash add-on. We tried to find an exact date on when this bundle started to take place and found scattered information dating back to 2010, so it’s highly likely that Security Scan has been bundled with the Adobe program for quite some time.

Brinkmann notes that both the slim online installer and the full installer prompted him to install the third party application. The notice comes near the end of the Shockwave Player installation and will install the Norton software unless you opt-out (the checkbox is selected by default).

The practice of bundling third party software alongside reputable software isn’t new but rather an ongoing concern. Many PC users, especially those who aren’t tech savvy, tend to zip through software installations without reading or even skimming over each window during the process. As a result, these same users typically end up installing third party software that they didn’t want or were even aware of.

In many cases, it can be pretty difficult to remove said software from their machine. Several programs aren’t uninstallable from the add/remove programs list and require the user to visit the company’s website to download and install a special removal tool. Norton is one such example as several of their antivirus and Internet security products in past years required a special removal tool to cleanly uninstall without leaving a trace.

As a basic reminder, it’s best to install software only from a reputable provider and more importantly, read each page during installation to avoid accidentally installing "extras" like the Ask Toolbar or Babylon Toolbar, two other usual suspects of such practices.




User Comments: 14

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treetops treetops said:

Looks like ill be cleaning this off my gran pas computer in the near future

MrAnderson said:

We still using shockwave? I thought they retired that...

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Better norton than mcafee

motrin said:

"pretty difficult to remove"

yea! I had to boot my friends pc in safe mode to remove norton, and installed Avast

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wish they would knock this $#!* off. Both Norton and Mcafee are crap.

Guest said:

Well in my experience with third party software, and check boxes is that they never work, every time i have to go and uninstall that **** manually, no mater check box was checked or unchecked. Ask is really annoying.

Guest said:

i like norton, it has just gotten too bulky. ofcourse, the bundling is for the intension of your grandma purchasing it after a few weeks. mine did but it was too late to say no, she already paid the $60 on the old pentium dell xp.

Guest said:

We've had a few users that installed Norton which then slows things down when it conflicts with our standard anti-malware program. I have been able to uninstall it without any problems though.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Down your free copy of Norton Is-a-virus 2012

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

I thought I had uninstalled the Shockwave player, it was still in add/remove programs but of course the uninstaller did not work.

But just like Norton Adobe has written special uninstallers for their crap so the solution is right here: [link]

It's not like any websites use Shockwave anymore, Flash on the other hand

On that note please give Oracle the free advertising they deserve for bundling toolbars with the Java Runtime!

Chazz said:

As well as Microsoft with the bing toolbar that gets on my nerves. And Google with the Chrome browser that also annoys me.

tonylukac said:

Altho I like firefox, one check box I hate checked is the "make firefox your default browser" when installing it. So many xp users have screwed up their windows update, etc. due to this. I even informed mozilla of this, but no change. It is often difficult to get ie back; different in every version of windows.

mopar man mopar man, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

tonylukac said:

Altho I like firefox, one check box I hate checked is the "make firefox your default browser" when installing it. So many xp users have screwed up their windows update, etc. due to this. I even informed mozilla of this, but no change. It is often difficult to get ie back; different in every version of windows.

Setting it to be your default browser will not affect anything; Windows Update works through IE like you said, however, doing so does not remove IE from your system.

veLa veLa said:

Norton isn't my personal choice as an anti-virus, but I see no reason why the average user, who probably doesn't know how to run a firewall or av, would mind getting a nice little scanner from a reputable brand like Norton for free.

Doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

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