There were a lot of voiced protests concerning Digsby’s monetizing efforts some time ago. In recent installs, Digsby not only tempted you to install ad-ware and used your idle PC time, but didn’t think about telling their users anything.
This information was cause for a lot of indignant responses regarding whether Digsby is secure, which in turn led to a somewhat startled reaction from the Digsby team. In a few days, they had explained everything in several blog posts, and took serious efforts to clarify matters with their current users, as well as making the avoidance of these ‘unwanted features’ easier.
Personally, I’m siding with Digsby here. They’ve done some great things for us so far, but such a support – understandingly – can’t be kept up and running without the income of at least some money. As such, I didn’t think a moment about switching, and am still a fervent Digsby supporter.
However, I can understand that not all people are as focused when installing a piece of software. Most people just flick through an install, clicking yes and accept where ever it’s necessary. For those people, it’s important to know what they are doing — more specifically, where not to press ‘Accept’ if they want a secure ad-free install if Digsby.
In this article we’ll highlight the ad-ware placements in the installer, as well as tell you how to disable certain revenue features afterwards to make Digsby secure.
1. A Safe Installer
Digsby normally tries to install using InstallQ. This is an installer container which downloads Digsby and tries to install several other applications. The easiest way around is to use the additional installer.
This installer – which can be used to install to a USB drive (or if you’ve got trouble with InstallQ) is located bottom-right on the download page. If you can manage to ignore the big download button, you’ve avoided most of the problems already.
Contrary to InstallQ, this installer does not ask permission to install third-party software. You’ll have your lovely chat-application, and that’s that. Just make sure to uncheck the browser modifications at the end if you’re happy about your current homepage and search engine.
2. Keep a Look Out
As said before, the easiest way to keep clear of any ad-ware is to use the additional installer. If, however, you want to keep using the InstallQ package, this is where you have to tred carefully.
To install the application, it’s necessary to agree upon their terms. That’s 1 accept.
On the three succeeding screens, however, you can decline without stopping the installation process. Accepting here will install ad-ware, third-party applications that will bother you with (amongst other things) shopping notifications.
After a few declines, you’ll be safe from ad-ware harm. Just choose which search engine you’ll want to use (actually, both are good, so there’s no harm there) and you’re on your way to enjoy Digsby.
Disable Digsby ‘Research’
Another source of Digsby’s income lies in their ‘research’. They use your idle processing power (when you haven’t touched your computer for a while), to conduct research (e.g. testing out AIDS models, or optimizing grain molecules).
This is actually a pretty non-intrusive way for them to earn money and I would advise you to leave it on.
Nevertheless, people should have the benefit of choice, and might even have a reason to decline participation if they’re on a low-spec computer, or are trying to keep the electricity bills down.
Turning this off is as easy as navigating to Tools -> Preferences -> Support Digsby and hitting Disable. I urge you to read the other options as well, and do everything you can agree on to support a great, free application and keep it free.
I hope you’ve learned something from this article, and will be able to benefit from it. If you’ve got anything to say, or got a remark to make, you can do so in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your stance on alternative monetizing techniques.
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