Kiwee Toolbar

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The Kiwee Toolbar is a browser-based add-on owned by American Greetings.

Once installed in Microsoft Windows, this toolbar cannot be removed by regular means. There are a large number of questions posted in different Internet forums asking how to remove it, as well as specialized guides and videos showing how achieve this.[1]

Users are advised to use unorthodox methods (including manually deleting directories, unlocking files, stopping processes, unregistering DLL files and/or deleting registry entries)[2][3] in order to completely remove the software. This is the typical modus-operandi of viruses and other malware in general.

Kiwee toolbar is potentially dangerous because it may install additional malware onto the compromised computer and collect user-identifying information possibly resulting in privacy violations and identity theft.

In 2010, American Greetings bundled the toolbar with the Webshots Desktop Application (a free program that users could then download from their site to manage their online pictures) to help install the controversial Kiwee Toolbar as part of a software update for this program. This generated a lot of complaints from its users due to the intrusive nature of the bundled software. Consequently, until 2011 Webshots was still classified as EMD (sites engaged in malware distribution) by hpHosts, a community dedicated to protecting Internet users against access to ad, tracking and malicious websites. The toolbar was unbundled in 2011 and Webshots was delisted from hpHosts.


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