LinkScanner safe surfing technology is developed by Exploit Prevention Labs and has been bought over by AVG Technologies. The patent pending LinkScanner technology is a new security component included in the AVG 8.0 Free Edition, which provides the Search-Shield functionality. Its purpose is to scan all results of the supported Internet search engines (Yahoo!, Google, MSN), and provides you with an evaluation of a safety level of each found website. At the same time, the LinkScanner also checks all Internet addresses typed into the address bar of your browser, or linked on other websites. There are four different levels of information you can get for each website, from Safe to Dangerous, allowing you to completely avoid dangerous or malicious websites.
It looks useful in guarding you against bad websites but it can be really annoying. For example, there’s a warez forum that I am trying to access and I know for sure that the website is safe. When I enter the URL in the browser, I get a warning page that says “Danger: AVG Search-Shield has detected active threats on this page and has blocked access for your protection. The page you are trying to access has been indeitified as a known exploit, phishing, or social engineering web site and therefore has been blocked for your safety. Without protection, such as that in the AVG security toolbar and AVG, your computer is at risk of being compromised, corrupted or having your identity stolen. Please follow one of the suggestioons below to continue.”
I continue to the page by ignoring the notice and was able to get to the login page. When I entered my username, password and hit the Login button, the annoying AVG Search Shield notice appears again. It goes in constant looping and I can never get to login to the forum! Here is how to disable AVG FREE LinkScanner Search-Shield from blocking the sites that you want to access.
If you have installed AVG Toolbar, you can control this component directly from your Internet browser using the button Search-Shield. Disabling this button will stop scanning of the search results in Google, MSN and Yahoo!, and also the scanning of Internet addresses (URL’s) you enter into the web browser (either manually, or by clicking on a link on any website, in an e-mail, etc.).
If you do not have AVG Toolbar installer, here are a couple of ways you can turn off AVG LinkScanner Search Shield.
Solution 1: Click Components from the menu bar and select LinkScanner. Uncheck Enable AVG Search-Shield (need web browser restart)
Solution 2: Double click LinkScanner at Overview tab. Uncheck Enable AVG Search-Shield (need web browser restart)
Solution 3: Click Tools from the menu bar and select Advanced settings… Select LinkScanner and Uncheck Enable AVG Search-Shield (need web browser restart)
You will notice that the AVG system tray icon will have a small red colored exclamation mark. You do not need to be afraid because it is to notify you that LinkScanner has been disabled.
If in future you want to install AVG FREE 8 without LinkScanner, you can run the setup with the following command line arguments. The only thing you need to change in the command line is the AVG executable (.exe) filename.
C:\avg_free_stf_all_8_101a1327.exe /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSurf /REMOVE_FEATURE fea_AVG_SafeSearch
The AVG LinkScanner Search-Shield configuration is limited with no exclusion setting. Other than AVG LinkScanner Search-Shield annoying the hell out of you when visiting a potentially dangerous website, some people also reported that search results are much slower than usual. That is because it scans all search results and provides you with an evaluation of a safety level of each found website. If you have limited bandwidth, I advice you to disable AVG Search Shield.