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by Theresa Cahill
Follow-Up Written November 2004
Copyright 2004 - All Rights Reserved

If you read my previous article located now at and soon at .../article75.html, you will already be familiar with my warning regarding Google's latest desktop helper.

And today I received further proof that issuing that warning was the correct thing to do.

My reason behind the first article was based on my reading of an initial article written by Mike Banks founder of WebSite101 and frequent author in the SitePro News (an outstanding newsletter).

At that writing Mr. Banks waxed enthusiasm for this latest way to help him keep track of the numerous stuff and junk and real information on his own computer. He was willing to let Google handle it for him... Hmmm... yikes!

Today I received yet another issue from SitePro with a follow-up article by Mr. Banks. The opening paragraph of his latest article states:
"I suppose I was naive when I cheered the new Google Desktop Search tool thinking it was ONLY a great way to help ease my computer info-glut and help organize my hundreds of hard-drive stored documents, emails and files. It seems that now I have to worry about how bad guys and busy-bodies will use it to spy on me!"
To keep this article short and to the point, I won't reiterate everything that Mike Banks can tell you. Suffice to say, just as the Google toolbar is suspect according to all my sp'y sweeping tools, this latest "helper" definitely falls into the "not on my computer!" category.

There's a lot you must know about this Google Search/Helper Tool, and I'll take the time and space to quote just one more paragraph of Mr. Banks' article:
"The Google Desktop Search Tool Poses a Security Risk to users of public or networked computers according to an Information Week article. If you use public computers at work or at libraries, internet cafes, Kinko's or the local Mailboxes Etc. store, now you've got to worry that previous users of that public machine, or worse, the business owner or employees, have installed Google Desktop Search on that machine to purposely spy on users."
To read his entire article, please head on over to:

Frankly ever since Google threw a wrench into the search capabilities of everyone on the planet using their search engine since November 2003, Google has not ranked very high in my book. In fact, Yahoo has again become the first engine I turn to to begin any hunt. It may not be the last one I try, but it is my starting point.

"Popular" does not always mean "the best."

Business online is tricky enough without blindly assisting those whose business approach appears to be the collection of data and surfing habits and information under the guise of "helping the internet user" without our knowledge or permission.

Most of us are not stupid, we would not willingly give out precious information about ourselves, our habits, or our financial conditions - unless WE opt to give it out ourselves.

It's unfortunate, but one must picture the internet in the same light as passing the guy in the alley way hissing, "Psssst!" in your direction. Just because you don't physically run into this type doesn't mean that sitting at a computer makes you any less vulnerable. In fact, the reverse is true. Be extremely, if even to the point of slight paranoia, careful!

Do not be the first on any bandwagon downloading tools that will have a major impact on your privacy and your hard drive.

I stand by my first statement in my first article:

SEARCH is available under your START menu, and your bookmarks and/or favorites folder plus your history in the IE browser itself should be more than sufficient (it's what we've all been doing for a long, long time just fine).

My advice? Though I repeat myself... Let others be the guinea pigs of the world for you... if they must...


Theresa Cahill is the owner of My Wizard Ads, a true one-stop spot for your online advertising needs.