|WhenU w/ SaveNow Adware Data Sheet
|Knowledge Base on ThiefWare and other
WhenU w/ SaveNow
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Downloading data to your local hard drive can slow your computer's Internet connection especially
when you have more than one ThiefWare program running on your computer. For many, this is a security
concern due to the nature of SaveNow's ability to talk with external servers. However, WhenU claims
clickstream data, and do not compile a centralized database of users, or engage in any type of user
SOFTWARE NAMESave & SaveNow (ad delivery software)
SUPPLIER NAME / URLsWhenU / www.whenu.com
AD TYPESContextual pop-up ads and toolbar ads. WhenUShop is no longer
being actively offered, but you can still see an example screen shot
of it in action here. SaveNow, Save, SearchBar, WeatherCast, and ICE are currently being offered.
SaveNow and Save push the contextual popup advertising.
DISTRIBUTION METHODBundled with various 3rd party programs under the guise of
the software being provided free if you accept the WhenU Save ThiefWare adware onto your system.
It is also available via direct download from the WhenU site as a SaveNow download.
AFFECTED BROWSERSMicrosoft Internet Explorer, versions 4.0 and higher.
EASE OF DIRECT REMOVALThe WhenU Web site mentions that the user can
uninstall their various software (SearchBar, SaveNow, Save, WeatherCast, ICE) through the Windows
AD DISABLE METHOD (server-side)There is no known method that can be
served up from a server to prevent WhenU's SaveNow adware from activating in connection to the
contextually targeted Web pages.
HOW IT WORKSWhenU's adware programs use your computer to contact
WhenU's servers to access advertiser information. Once the information is passed back to the
local copy of Save or SaveNow, their software will push up ads when it runs across a page with keywords,
URL's, and search terms matching the keywords bought by advertisers.
One main issue with WhenU has been that users get the WhenU ThiefWare program installed onto their
computers via distribution partners providing free downloads. People have complained in the past
that the WhenU software got installed without their permission. It appears that WhenU is attempting
to be more upfront about the installation of their software, but that still does not address the
problem with WhenU putting up competing ads over Web sites (which has been and still is
one of ThiefWare.com's main bones of contention over this software).
THIEFWARE MARKET EXPOSURE
WhenU's software has been widely spread around via
so-called free software. YOU MUST BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN INSTALLING FREE SOFTWARE AND SCREEN SAVERS. Read
the EULA carefully to be sure that no ThiefWare is required to use the free download.
Although no longer available from WhenU, you can
see old examples of WhenU's WhenUShop application pushing up their
side bar in response to viewing Amazon.com.
Warning! Affiliate Site Owners Beware of Your Affiliate
It has been reported that WhenU uses pop-ups to intercept referral credits that would
normally be assigned to the original referring affiliates. According to the report (below)
this happens when WhenU is an affiliate of the same affiliate merchant you are
representing. Of course the person surfing would need to have WhenU's adware installed on
their computers for this to work. If the visitor clicks on the offer presented in the
popup window at the affiliate merchant's site, WhenU.com gets paid. The original affiliate
that worked to get the person to the affiliate merchant's site gets nothing for the effort
after the visitor clicks on the pop-up ad. Though this is NOT a redirect of a URL, it can
still cause a loss in commissions for the site owner.
See this report referring to WhenU's pilfering of affiliate commissions:
Regular affiliate members have a hard enough time driving people to
merchant sites through affiliate links without WhenU seemingly intercepting affiliate
commissions in some form. We consider this stealing affiliate earnings.
The following example describes events leading up to a lost commission
according to the information extracted from that report listed above:
- You build your site and insert your affiliate link.
- Visitor comes to your site and has the WhenU SaveNow app running.
- Visitor clicks on your affiliate link.
- Visitor is taken to affiliate merchant site through your link and when
they get there WhenU's adware kicks in with an ad when certain parameters are met.
- Save or SaveNow presents the ThiefWare popup ad. (WhenU's ad may
appear while the visitor is still on your site before they have a chance to click on your
- Some sort of offer is presented inside the popup ad such as an
additional savings or some similar offer (whatever they use to get the visitor to click on
- Visitor clicks on the ad. When the visitor clicks on the ad for the
offer, WhenU.com gets paid and you get nothing because they lured your visitor away from
making a purchase tied to your affiliate membership URL.
What Can You Do as an Affiliate Site Owner?
Spread the word about this predatory practice and direct others here so they can read
about it. Next, contact the affiliate program owners about this if they are using WhenU as
a super affiliate. If the affiliate merchant will not listen to your concerns, find
another merchant who does not partner with WhenU and drop the ThiefWare merchants where
possible. By staying with the ThiefWare merchants, you make WhenU stronger and you
ultimately hurt your own affiliate revenue generating ability.
WhenU reports that they do NOT redirect affiliate links.
However, by putting up another ad over the affiliate's site, they are in effect still
causing the affiliate site owner to lose commissions the affiliate might normally get. The
affiliate has a greater chance of losing commissions when end users click the WhenU ad
taking them away to another offer connected with WhenU.
Good News for LinkShare Affiliate Members
LinkShare.com severed ties with WhenU.com in 2003. Though it took a long time for that to
happen, it's good news for affiliates working with the LinkShare Network. Since 2003,
LinkShare.com appears to be instituting positive measures for removing and preventing
ThiefWare affiliates. By enforcing more strict rules regarding the use of their network,
it forces super affiliates and regular affiliates to behave. We hope that Commission
Junction (a.k.a. CJ) will eventually see the wrong in allowing WhenU to remain an
affiliate member of the Commission Junction affiliate network.
WhenU w/ SaveNow
Microsoft Internet Explorer