Category Archives: Computer (OSX

Titaniced by F.B. Purity Facebook tools

Don’t install this Facebook-filtering browser script.  It may look appealing, but it comes with baggage you won’t want; TamperMonkey, a platform for adware, malware and spyware that can be difficult to remove.screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-10-42-31-pm

My experience

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, I was looking for some way to stop seeing Facebook posts about a certain person!  But I didn’t want to block all the content from my friends who were posting about him.  And I didn’t want to block the source pages they were linking to, because they might have other content I still wanted to see.  Facebook doesn’t offer a way to block content based on a “blacklist” of keywords.  It’d be nice if they did!  Lacking that, F.B. Purity, a browser script, looked like the way to go.

I easily found the web page for downloading F.B. Purity.  But it said that first I needed to install TamperMonkey; and it provided a handy link to that site.

In turn, TamperMonkey had a checkbox for installing GetFormsOnline.  The TamperMonkey install wouldn’t start until I accepted GetFormsOnline.  (In this screen cap, it’s forcing acceptance of a different program.)

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Right away, my OSX/Safari browser started acting strangely.  Each new tab I opened showed a strange web search page, even tho my Preferences didn’t show it as my home page.  Belatedly, I looked up GetFormsOnline and TamperMonkey.  I realized I’d made a big mistake; these are dangerous programs, and TamperMonkey is a gateway for more undesirable software.

In effect, TamperMonkey is a trojan horse.  And so, by extension, is F.B. Purity.

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If you see this after installing F.B. Purity, you have a problem.

For some reason, and luckily for me, the TamperMonkey install failed (and so the F.B. Purity install failed).  I was able to uninstall GetFormsOnline.  I’m running a full scan of my computer with BitDefender as I write this, to make as sure as I can that no other “Greeks” came on board with TamperMonkey.

I’d rather live without a Facebook filter than tolerate this dicey stuff on my computer.  I hope you’ll agree.  If you already installed F.B. Purity, I strongly suggest that you uninstall TamperMonkey, GetFormsOnline and any other software that you were forced to install.  If that puts F.B. Purity out of commission, so be it.

F.B. Purity’s response

I contacted Stephen Fernandez at F.B. Purity Tech Support.  He said:

sorry but you are incorrect, tampermonkey is not a trojan and neither is fb purity.

tampermonkey didnt force you to install anything. you installed the wrong thing because you didnt follow my instructions carefully, despite me telling you to.

fb purity doesnt force you to install anything either. fb purity is compatible with chrome and firefox on mac natively, fb purity only requires tampermonkey to be installed if you want to run it on safari.  (My note: Safari is Apple’s browser that comes pre-installed on an iMac; so most Mac users will have to install TamperMonkey.)

A 12/19/16 post in TheNextWeb.com states that the developer of F.B. Purity has been banned from Facebook.

 

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Sam the scam, the computer man

This guy was so hopeless that I doubt anybody is in much danger of being scammed by him.  All the same I thought I’d pass the experience along.  It was kind of entertaining too, in a sad way.


The phone wakes me up from a well-deserved nap after a morning of ripping crabgrass out of my front yard.  “Hello?” I say.

There’s a long pause.  I know from volunteering for a phone bank that this is the classic sign of a phone bank.  The guy’s computer has put my call up on his screen as Answered, and we’re all waiting for him to notice it.  “Hello,” he says unhelpfully.  I hear a lot of talking in the background, like it’s a busy office.

“Hellooooooo,” I say slowly to make it clear that this is the part where you tell me who you are.

“This is Sam, calling from Window Services.”  Sam sounds depressed, and he pronounces each word separately as if English were a second language.

I just had our windows cleaned, so I think this is one of those customer satisfaction surveys.  “What can I do for you, Sam?”

“I’m calling about your computer.”

That background chatter isn’t an office, it’s a sweatshop.  Shields up!  “What about my computer?”

“For the past three weeks your computer has been generating error messages.”  Sam is even sadder now, because he’s gotten to the part of his spiel where people hang up.

“What kind of computer do you think I have?”

“A windows operating system computer.”

“But my computer doesn’t run the Windows operating system.”

“Oh, all right.  Good-bye.”  CLICK