The Bane of Family Tech Support

arrgh!One of the occupational hazards of working in the IT industry is that you become official tech support for family and friends.

There is a expectation that you will be an expert in all forms of technology.

My mother-in-law regularly asks me questions about her android phone, for example, despite I having never owned or used such a device. My requests for her to move to an iPhone or use my wife who has exactly the same phone as her have so far gone unheard!

Sometimes, however, the job is made so much harder by mischievous software vendors and I am particularly thinking of those that install browser toolbars as part of completely unrelated installations. The one shown from ScreenHunter above is an excellent example but by no means is it an isolated case.

The problem is that many either don’t read these pages when they go through an installation or simply don’t understand the consequences of not doing so. Why would you? There aren’t any nefarious software vendors out there right?

Problem is my in-laws browser now has so little screen real estate for the actual web page due to the multiple browser “helper” bars that have been installed that it is impossible to seen anything! And then there are other costs too such as a reduction in performance and potentially a change of the default search engine – who really wants “Wisdom-soft search” as their default search engine? It drives me nuts.

The good news is that Google is taking a lead and from Chrome 25 they will block any silent browser extension installations. This is a great start and just another reason why I recommend Chrome to anyone that will listen. This can only make my life as system support that much easier.

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