What’s going on with Digsby?


UPDATE: Digsby gave a complete review on their blog here. Go there for a more in depth review.

Back in May I wrote a review on Digsby, recently I have heard talk about it being spyware and stealing your information. I decided to do some research on it and see if there was any truth to these claims. I started out going to the Digsby blog and seeing if they had addressed anything on their blog. I found nothing so I went to the forums in hope of clarification. Here’s what I found out, the “spam” that is included is some tool bar offers that are from freeze.com. Typical things that are included in a lot of free programs, something that is very common now a days so nothing to bad. The company needs to generate revenue in someway to keep it free. The other problem people were having was when you go to download the program it redirects you to download.freeze.com so that can cause some people to worry that it sets of malware and spyware warnings, however you can download Digsby from their own servers right here.

The other issue is that there is a Java program running that’s associated with Digsby. That interested me because I don’t like things running on my computer that I don’t know what they are. This program takes advantage of your processer while your computer is idle to do research for mathematics and medical research. This can easily be turned of by going to:

Help Menu -> Support Digsby -> Next To "Help Digsby conduct research" click "Disable"

Now when this is running Digsby gets some money for helping with the research. The thing that bothered me the most about this is that the developers didn’t make it widely known that they were including this in an update and it was enabled by default. I have no problem letting it run since I’ve let it run since it was pushed in an update and have seen no performance decreases on my computer or any problems. I just wish that it had been told that this was included when updated and asked whether or not I wanted it enabled.

Overall I still think that Digsby is still the best IM client out there and I don’t think that these above issues are “spam” or “they are stealing your information.” I think that like every company Digsby needs revenue to keep going and they are trying to do it in the least visually intrusive way. I do hope however that the developers are more upfront about what is included in the updates. I would still recommend Digsby because nothing total negative is happening and you don’t have to install anything that you don’t want to.

(You can read the forums and response here and here.)

8 Responses to “What’s going on with Digsby?”

  1. thanks for the post. i had heard similar rumors but could not find anything malicious associated with digsby. good to know that its just ppls ignorance (search bars are not spyware).

  2. **meant optional installs do not count as a negative. its up to the installer to un-check those options.

  3. Unfortunately I’ve found that Digsby likes to spam it’s user base with survey’s and announcements via a pop up window. I’ve found this very annoying as you can’t disable their own announcement spam (I’ve had pop ups occur during webex conference calls). There are no options to controls this.

    Also there is no control over updates. These are automatic via the program. You’re forced to update as they desire which I don’t like because there’s no quality control or option should the latest version disrupt other programs, be buggy, or offer additional malicious functions like this CPU usage research which is still a mystery to me. I don’t like programs that have authoritative control to upgrade as they please. Also if you do opt into the “research” there’s no understanding that the research is used for good. I also harbor the minor fear that someone could hack their network of research computers and turn them for malicious use, attacks or bot nets.

    I’m going back to Pidgin

  4. Digsby has busted my trust.
    I will use it no more, regardless of any improvements.
    Fool me once……….

  5. One single bug, I had 2 Yahoo accounts, and Digsby sent out a message from the wrong account to one of my friends who was added to the other account!

    And Digsby is out of my list.

  6. As an aim user I notice digsby client spam… It’s easy to identify digsby users because it plasters itself all over their profiles, lifestreams and some messages. Pretty lame if you ask me.

    I just use an old version of the various chat clients.. Old versions are usually much faster and cut out bogus features I don’t use anyway. Do a google search for AIM old version, as an example.

  7. The one thing I hate about Digsby is that 2 yrs ago they announced a linux & mac version. And they still haven’t released anything and continue to shun non-windows users (which now make up 20% of all computer users)!

    We need a Linux version and a Mac version.

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