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TRUSTe's Trusted Download Program

Spyware Hunt Blog - News

22 Nov 2005



Many of the readers of this newsletter feel they can safely use the freeware I recommend. Now TRUSTe, a non-profit organization is initiating the "Trusted Download Program", to help the public be more certain that ad supported software is safe to use. I typically do not recommend ad supported software, commonly called adware, but in certain cases, I have used it myself. It's a matter of knowing what you are willing to put up with in order to use the software. A good example of ad supported software or services would be your typical search engines. Every search engine I can think of, Google, MSN, Yahoo, Alta Vista, is technically an adware service that uses advertisements on their site to pay for the service. The ads typically aren't noticed much by the average user and most of us have no problem with them. This new "Trusted Download Program" by TRUSTe, promises to keep track of qualified adware in a whitelist so that you can find out if a program is safe for you to use. If such websites as Download.com and others are subscribed to the this new TRUSTe program, you can feel safe downloading anything at their site. This program could put pressure on shady adware vendors to clean up their act and eliminate the drive-by downloads, undisclosed, hidden, and difficult to remove adware. I wish them all the luck in the world.


Quote from Spyware Hunt

The primary objective, then, of the Trusted Download Program is to establish a set of extremely specific criteria that downloadable software must follow in order to be certified as safe. These approved products would then be placed on a TRUSTe "whitelist" that can be used by Web sites to decide which content they will include. Although the program is still in its "beta" phase, the current list of requirements is very detailed.