I was innocently going about my innocent Internet business - reading up on why the Yankees hate Kevin Youkilis; scanning for news on Tom Brady's baby daddy or daddy baby or whatever the right term is; checking out a right-wing Catholic blog I look at just to drive myself nuts; and, in my spare time, doing some market research for a customer.
Up pops a message from an outfit called "Drive Cleaner", warning me that all the porn sites I was traveling to was going to catch up to me, and I would be in danger of losing my marriage.
Personally, I've been on two porn-ish sites in my life: once, during the Clinton Administration, when I typed in "whitehouse.com" rather than "whitehouse.gov." The second was when I worked at Genuity (1999-2002) and I was doing my regular, lunch-time check of a site called "f'd company" to see what the latest line was on GENU. I obviously typed the f-word in correctly, but got something else wrong. My screen just exploded with all sorts of X-rated images I had no interest in viewing. I had to unplug my PC to stop the flow.
So, just what porn and adult sites is "Drive Cleaner" warning me about?
Hearing from them did drive me to look at their site, where we're warned:
You are Not Safe!
What evidence does your computer have?
Private companies are tracking the ISPs to record your Internet behavior and downloads for evidence. Simply deleting these files does not get rid of the evidence. Many times you are not even aware of the files that get installed by themselves and could compromise your career, your marriage or your overall status quo.
Personally, I'm not concerned about compromising my career, marriage, or "overall status quo" - whatever that is. (It will be no surprise to my husband that I do a lot of time-wasting on line. So does he. Let him hang out on Frequent Flyer and prostate info sites, while I graze whatever pops into my mind at the moment. And let Drive Cleaner keep to themselves.)
There are plenty of people with plenty to say about Drive Cleaner's marketing tactic, but PC Hell said it best.
Drive Cleaner uses blatant scare tactics to try to get users to purchase their product. I'm not against using programs such as Drive Cleaner to clean up your computer, but I am against the tactics used to promote it.
Most marketers at some time or another do a bit of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty,and Doubt) marketing. But the "scare tactics" used by Drive Cleaner are odious.
Not to mention that, when I tried to get rid of their pop-up, they dropped something onto my computer that had to be cleaned out by Norton! And they keep dropping it back in. Over and over.(Thanks for that little bit of Computer Transmitted Disease, pal.)
I occasionally clear out the cookies I accumulate in my travels, but I am really and truly not worried about anyone subpoenaing my laptop and examining my drive for "evidence."
Evidence of time wasting, drifting around, and doing more reading about celebrities than I'd like to admit - certainly there'd be plenty of that. I just can't imagine anyone using it against me in any court of law.
I'll take care of my own status quo, thank you.
Drive Cleaner should just cease and desist its obnoxious marketing. All it's gotten me to do is think about buying Window Washer.