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How do I disable the "Text Enhance" affiliate platform that is present on all my web surfing

Posted

When I use the Firefox browser to surf the web, on nearly every web page I visit an invasive advertising platform creates anchor links on the web pages (anchor keywords with two hyperlinks under the anchor word) which when clicked takes the viewer to an advertisement. Most of the links seem to be part of an advertising platform owned by "Text Enhance," which I have contacted to complain about. They sort of played dumb. I said I thought it was the result of some malware from which they were the sole beneficiary and they assured me they didn't instigate it. I went to the Warrior Forum and some members suggested it sounded like it came from one of your extensions or plugins. My security and technology consultant scrubbed my computer and they deleted some of your extensions and plugins and the problem went away. But two weeks later, it's back and it's pervasive. Even words in my online banking accounts are showing these text links.

Aside from security concerns, my biggest fear is that they are stealing traffic from the websites I publish--websites where I'm trying to sell either my own or affiliate products. And that upsets me greatly.

I'm sure I'm not the only web user experiencing this problem. If other web publishers are also getting their traffic stolen and directed to a competing site, you can bet that there will be a class action lawsuit on the horizon for Mozilla. So I suggest you get to the bottom of this situation and rectify it, because a lawsuit will be the inevitable result.

I don't mean to alarm you because I use Firefox as my primary browser. However, I checked IE and Chrome and Chrome is exhibiting the same situation. So I'm not really sure how this is happening, and that's why I'm contacting you about it.

Please let me know if you know how to de-activate this invasive pest.

Regards, Tom O'Boyle toboyle9@yahoo.com

Modified by toboyle9

Chosen solution

I eliminated it by removing the StartNow toolbar via: Tools > Add-Ons > Extensions


Edit: Please also see these great answers by EmailyDesarno

EmailyDesarno's post on page 2:
I searched Google and forums and they all say to go here to remove text enhance.

Most also say opting out will only bring you more spam, so I would not do that if experts are saying not to.

Sooo.. go to this website, it has the most info on this and I found it useful, I have no connection to them it's just to help. http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-text-enhance/


EmailyDesarno's post on page 3
DO NOT OPT OUT

That will cause more spam, it is not a solution.

I've already said it, all the solutions you need to remove Text Enhance are here:

http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-text-enhance/

Read this answer in context 37

Additional System Details

This happened

A few times a week

This started when...

about six weeks ago

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 11.0 r1
  • Google Update
  • 4.0.60831.0
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • RealJukebox Netscape Plugin
  • RealNetworks(tm) RealPlayer Chrome Background Extension Plug-In
  • RealPlayer(tm) HTML5VideoShim Plug-In
  • RealPlayer(tm) LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In
  • 12.0.1.660
  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 11.6
  • iTunes Detector Plug-in
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.4.5"
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 1.6.0_26 for Mozilla browsers
  • NPWLPG
  • np-mswmp
  • Office Plugin for Netscape Navigator

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1

More Information

UPDATE!!!! 10/16/11
This situation is caused by an advertising company whose adverting platform places cookies on browsers who allow cookies. The cookies enable the Text Enhance platform to convert keywords it finds on the websites' content into text links for its own affiliates. In other words, it is stealing traffic from websites and re-directing it to its own list of affiliates. They enable viewers who are savvy enough to figure it out to de-activate the program on their own sites and tell them to add a Text Enhance id name to the "do not accept cookies from" their site and give the user the code to insert into his or her browser settings. However, 99% of the people visiting websites have no vested interest in this abuse, don't realize one anchor link from another and don't have any inclination to change their browser settings. Bottom line: Web Publishers who are making their living selling advertising, products, and services on their websites are losing the traffic they works so hard for to this traffic theft. I think the only solution is for legal action, most likely in the form of a class action lawsuit, preceded by a court injunction getting Text Enhance to stop using this software until it is resolved in a court.

romaee 0 solutions 5 answers

Sorry to be dreary - but can't believe it is not possible to disable this spam at my website - I assume the link and banner are all generated in the browser and served to the browser's IP from textsrv.com, so nothing I can do will block the banner - how about a blocking cookie??

I guess I'll post a notice and the botcrawl link on all 680 pages of my website and trust to providence and the kindness of strangers.

MichaelBear 0 solutions 6 answers

Your website can not be infected with Text Enhance, only individual users.

If you see Text Enhance spam links, then YOU are infected.

If a visitor of your website sees spam links on your website from Text Enhance then THEY are infected.

In conclusion: Your website can not become infected nor injected with Text Enhance. Only individual users. Text Enhance will not infect people who visit YOUR website, Text Enhance does not exist on your website. Text Enhance is only a browser hijacker. Remember, your website is NOT infected nor injected with Text Enhance. For many reasons, your website is not injected with any malicious code related to Text Enhance.

Please understand that for matters concerning Text Enhance, injecting individual websites would not be successful what so ever, not even a minuscule measurement of success, possibly not even 1 successful spam campaign would ever come from injecting individual websites with Text Enhance, especially since Text Enhance is telling everyone who they are and what they do.

Modified by MichaelBear

romaee 0 solutions 5 answers

I should never have strayed to the browser side of town.

How 'bout denial of service?

Thanks.

MichaelBear 0 solutions 6 answers

Text Enhance has nothing to do with DDOS (Denial of service) attacks at all.

Not even in the same hemisphere.

Text Enhance is not going to (temporarily) shut down any websites by way of DDOS attacks - They need websites online for their adware to work.

If you are suggesting website inJections, it's already explained, they do not inject websites, that would not make any sense for their type of operation.

Text Enhance does not infect websites. Text Enhance ONLY infects browsers.

Thank you.

Modified by MichaelBear

romaee 0 solutions 5 answers

Indeed. I was thinking that mebbe a bunch of people that actually have websites could take concerted action..... like Dr. Ehrlich, for example.

MichaelBear 0 solutions 6 answers

Go to anon opps board for that.

romaee 0 solutions 5 answers

Thanks!

curlew 0 solutions 3 answers

exterminate it may get rid of this issue http://download.cnet.com/Exterminate-It/9241-8022_4-11003988-1.html or google it, never know you might find a free version :) its worth a scan even if you dont buy it as it will show you loads of stuff you didnt know was there

Modified by curlew

petergunnarwilliams 0 solutions 1 answers

My particular copy of Text Enhance did not show up as either an installed program, or as an extension. I managed to stop it doing it's thing (although I'm not sure if this actually removed it or not) by looking at the Flash Global Storage Settings which you get to via this webpage:

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager03.html

And then unchecking the box which says “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer”

I was happy with that solution because I don't want to disable Flash entirely - too many webpages require it!

When I re-checked the box, the problem did not reoccur, so I'm hoping that Text Enhance got deleted from my machine at that point.

Annoying that neither AVG nor AdAware spotted this in a full scan.

Modified by petergunnarwilliams