vertigo

Level 2
I want to warn people about the sneaky tactics Sophos is using during registration, which is required to download their trials. While you have to opt-out of receiving marketing email similar to most other registrations, unlike most others the way they have it set up is deceptive. Typically, there's a checkbox for agreeing to receive such marketing, which is checked by default, and so you have to uncheck it to opt-out. While annoying and something I've long disagreed with (I prefer opt-in), it's at least pretty standard and so easy to watch out for. Conversely, Sophos has made it work the opposite, where you CHECK the box to opt OUT, so that at first glance it appears, with it unchecked by default, that they have it set up as default opt-out. This is pretty shady, and gave me a bad impression of them from the very start. Granted, in theory it should be easy to unsubscribe later, and I always use email aliases for stuff like this, but it's still deceitful.
 

askalan

Level 16
Verified
Malware Hunter
That's the way it is.

The antivirus manufacturers have recognized that nowadays it is no longer possible to make money from antivirus software, because you can already protect yourself very well today and for free.

That's why antivirus manufacturers add programs like password managers or VPNs to their free software, which you have to pay for. Some antivirus manufacturers (like Avira, Sophos etc.) use newsletters/advertisements to encourage you to buy, as you have already described it.

It is of course very frustrating and not good for the consumer. But that's also the price you pay for a free product that needs to finance.
 

stepseven84

Level 7
Verified
That's the way it is.

The antivirus manufacturers have recognized that nowadays it is no longer possible to make money from antivirus software, because you can already protect yourself very well today and for free.

That's why antivirus manufacturers add programs like password managers or VPNs to their free software, which you have to pay for. Some antivirus manufacturers (like Avira, Sophos etc.) use newsletters/advertisements to encourage you to buy, as you have already described it.

It is of course very frustrating and not good for the consumer. But that's also the price you pay for a free product that needs to finance.
Agreed! (y)
 

vertigo

Level 2
Well, considering it would apply even when downloading it as a paid customer, this isn't just a price you pay for free software type of thing. And yes, @Umbra, read before you click, but many people don't, and I myself sometimes miss stuff like this, even though I do try and pay attention. Ideally, people will read and notice it, but obviously the majority won't, which is why Sophos has done it. Ultimately, it's on the users to protect themselves from this kind of thing, it's just unfortunate they have to do so even from a company whose products are intended for the exact purpose of protecting people from stuff like this (in a loose sense). Anyways, hopefully my pointing it out will help at least some people avoid it, but more importantly, I wanted people to be aware of the tactics the company is using. To each their own, but for me, when a company shows they're willing to do something like this, it makes me wonder what else they're doing, and I'd rather just steer clear.
 
D

Deleted member 178

Informing is one thing, bashing at same time a vendor because it does something you believe is shady is another.

Of course, you are free of your opinion, whatever it is right or wrong; but did you report it to Sophos or ask explanations before accusing them of tricking users?
I guess no...
 

show-Zi

Level 19
Verified
If you can pre-read and avoid it, I feel that the problem is small. In a similar case, I think that the specification of automatic renewal of the emisi license is more confusing.
Whether or not to automatically extend the license deadline can be selected, but it is specified that once the automatic renewal is not permitted, the license approval procedure is not completed, and opt-out must be set again afterwards is.
 

vertigo

Level 2
Informing is one thing, bashing at same time a vendor because it does something you believe is shady is another.

Of course, you are free of your opinion, whatever it is right or wrong; but did you report it to Sophos or ask explanations before accusing them of tricking users?
I guess no...
And informing is exactly what I did. Others can take it however they want. And while I didn't email them about it, I did mention it in my post in the pinned thread about Sophos Home. I'm not going to waste my time emailing them about it when they can see it there, and it's clearly no accident that it's set up the way it is. So essentially, yes, I did report it to them. And to this community, so they would be warned about it. I'm sorry you feel my warning others is an affront of some sort.
 
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vertigo

Level 2
Reading through the pinned thread, I saw at least two separate people from Sophos posting, including the OP. Maybe they're just random employees posting on their own, I just assumed they were reps, especially considering they have official usernames (Sophos's name is in their username). Even if they're not, they're in a position to mention it.
 
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vertigo

Level 2
As for bashing vs informing, I get what you're saying, but I was just calling it how I saw it. And at least for me it would be difficult to separate the two, to call them out on it by telling people what they're doing without explaining why I'm doing so, which is because it's sneaky behavior, and because I feel that if a company plays tricks in one sense, they're likely to do other things as well (e.g. as mentioned above auto-renewal shenanigans). If others don't agree, that's fine, I was just pointing out what I felt was an issue and why and, yes, a bit of how I feel about it.

Also, based on your last post, I guess the issue isn't about Sophos reps being in that thread, but that they apparently aren't active anymore.
 
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D

Deleted member 178

Reading through the pinned thread, I saw at least two separate people from Sophos posting, including the OP. Maybe they're just random employees posting on their own, I just assumed they were reps, especially considering they have official usernames (Sophos's name is in their username). Even if they're not, they're in a position to mention it.
Why won't you do it yourself (at their forum or by mail) at least you will be sure they get it, instead of here expecting ghost reps to see it...
 
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stepseven84

Level 7
Verified
About my first post, these techniques are used in every single and real context, not only in the marketing one.
All of these strategies reflect the persuasion.
Just to be clear, I'm not confirming tricks, it is normal thing in a business context, nor good and nor evil, it is just business.

Of course, as already said, the user has the duty to read, interpret and decide.
 

Raiden

Level 13
Verified
Content Creator
I agree with what's been said.

Virtually every software company or website that provides a service does something like this. It's not new and as @Umbra said, people need to take the time to read, rather than quickly clicking through the options.

IMO, and this isn't directed towards you @vertigo, or anyone else in specific, but IMO people as a whole need to start taking responsibility for some of their own actions. I'm sorry if this comes across as harsh, but it's the sad reality. Don't get me wrong there are many times it's not the person's fault and there are tons of shady practices going on, just take a look at Facebook, but there are many times people have full control of the situation. It's not necessarily the fault of the company if one cannot take a few extra moments to read through it and not rush.

PUA's are a good example. Many times one can avoid PUA's simply by reading the options when installing a program, rather than clicking really fast through the installer. Alot of the time these options are on by default and it's up to the user to pay attention.

Now we can argue the merits of these options being on by default vs off by default, but again its common practice and unfortunately I don't see it changing anytime soon.
 
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Cortex

Level 11
Learn to read instead of happy click.
Nothing shady here.
You really do not tell people to 'learn to read' At least that is if you have manners of any kind. I do sometimes think if the quick snappy rude replies on forums would occur if you were in the same room as the recipient, I think not. People can say what they wish, but it does show the sort of person you are dealing with who speak to others like frankly like dirt. Oh & I've been using forums since day one.
 
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Kuttz

Level 12
Verified
Sophos is nothing when compared to Ccleaner tricked its users into installing Avast AV. Some people said that Avast installation happened to them even without check box consent for Avast installation. One must always do custom install mode and understand each and every options/prompts that may appear during app installation. There is no other solution to this.