Netword classification

The Netword Agent (netword.com) is a browser toolbar and add-on that enables users to perform searches on keywords (“networds”) either through the toolbar itself or the browser URL address bar. Although users can define their own “networds” or “keywords” (which are then used as an alternative form of bookmarks), the search results returned for most “networds” are, in fact, paid-for advertising of one sort or another.

The company had approached us about our listing of their product in our CounterSpy database. Subsquently, we performed an exhaustive review of the product and the company’s practices and as a result, we will be changing the product's classification from "Adware" to "Low Risk Adware," and will be changing the default action presented to users from "Quarantine" to "Ignore." This ensures that although CounterSpy will still detect Netword, users must affirmatively elect to let CounterSpy remove the program by changing the action themselves from "Ignore" to "Quarantine" or "Remove."

We have elected to continue detecting the application because of concerns surrounding the inadequate disclosure of the advertising functionality of the program. See our report here for more details.