In a search of "identity theft service" I came upon a blog called ID Theft Secrets. The blog has many compelling stories and links to information about identity theft.
It also promotes a browser toolbar, that seems to have functions for "no spyware" "anti-spyware scan" and a website blocker, as well as promotional links. I almost installed the toolbar to see how it worked. Then I decided to look for information about this blogger. I found none.
I realized the blog related to a site idtheftsecrets.com which also has
no visible credits. You can buy a book download, and perhaps the
receipt tells you who wrote it.
The bottomline: Always think twice if you’re planning to use software from an "unknown" company. Whereas you might naturally trust a site that provides identity theft advice, anti-spyware software that actually installs spyware on your system has been a widespread problem. And if you don’t know who’s running a website, how do you know the advice they’re providing is accurate?
Am I paranoid?
Shortly after I wrote this post, a colleague pointed out that toolbars from Effective Brands have been classified as spyware in the past. Their current marketing does a good job to convince consumers this is a thing of the past. But my point is, make sure to research before installing software. Or you may install more than you bargained for!