The reasons to avoid the Citrio browser just seem to multiply.
In February, we were contacted in response to an article I’d written about what’s going on with Citiro and why I recommend avoiding it. The email expressed concerns, complete with screenshots, and gave permission to use “in part or in full” to share with our readers.
This needs little from me by way of introduction; however, I will state that these findings have been confirmed and, while Darren’s opinions are his own, the facts don’t change and I stand by my original assessment to avoid Citrio even more firmly.
Remember when I showed you the extensions Citrio bundled? Note that, like a few others, the 4shared extension is auto-enabled upon installation. But that doesn’t sound like a bad idea, right?
Wrong. Read on.
Subject: About “Citrio” browser
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2015 14:14:24 -0500
From: Darren Malcolm
Hello my friend, my name is Darren.
I just finished reading your review of the Citrio browser, and yes it certainly has a lot of red flags. The reason I’m contacting you today is because I would like to share with you another shady tactic that they are using to get unsuspecting users to download and install their browser. You may find this very interesting, and so I figured that you can use this as fodder if they ever contact you again to try to convince you and the world that their browser is “100% Clean”.
Before I begin, I just want to say that if you feel the need to post anything in part or in full from this e-mail to further warn your visitors, then please feel free to do so. After all, information is knowledge.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the file hosting website 4shared.com. It’s a very popular website with close to 11 million users. Well, today I came across a website called “4shared.rapidrip.com”. When I first entered the website, Malwarebytes immediately detected it as malicious and had blocked access to it. So, because of my aching need to investigate, I quickly added an exception so that I would be able to view the site. And then lo and behold, upon entering the site, I noticed it is an EXACT replica of 4shared.com.
Of course, that’s nothing new since there are literally hundreds of fake websites online posing as legitimate sites, but THIS particular site really peaked my interest. Anyway, I took a screenshot of the clone site which I posted below.
In case the Powers-That-Be at Citrio delete the tweet (they seem fond of deleting material from their media as mentioned in my prior article) here’s a screenshot of it.
I wouldn’t want to be misleading so here’s that tweet in context from Citrio’s Twitter page/.
Now let’s see how 4shared‘s promoting this fantastic new alliance. A quick look at the 4shared Twitter shows no mention of Citrio. When I searched the official 4shared Blog for any mention of Citrio, this is what I found:
In the first screenshot of the 4shared site you can see the “https” is in green . It reads as https://www.4shared.com/. That’s important and here’s what it means: To verify their identity, sites that use SSL present security certificates to Chrome. SSL secured pages will begin with “https” instead of “http” at the beginning of the web address. This also shows that Google has verified the 4shared site.
The “rapidrip” site at http://4shared.rapidrip.com/ does not have verification and does not have security certificates. Invalid certificates could mean that someone is trying to tamper with your connection. Think of it: Anyone can set up a website pretending to be another site, but only the real site has a valid security certificate for the URL you’re trying to reach.
Note: For more information on how to find out if a site is legit, check out this WikiHow article and Google’s helpful guide on identifying secure (and not so secure) connections.
Note: If you value your personal data and privacy, you may not want to take this “free premium account” 4shared offer through Citrio, owned by the data collection and marketing company Epom. The browser is not only bundled with privacy-invasive extensions that have “collect, own, use and do not delete info about you” as a policy, but contains several questionable background processes that run from inception. For more information, please read Citrio Browser? Avoid it.
Maybe this is just a slow, quiet marketing promotion; however, I find that hard to believe as “slow and quiet” doesn’t quite jive with Citrio’s loud, boastful style of aggressive marketing and branding. We may never know but I daresay marketing snafus aren’t the real issue when contemplating the Citrio browser. Truthfully, Citrio’s not a contender. There are too many concerns about this browser to recommend it as a real alternative in the already saturated market of Chrome clones. There are much better, safer, more useful browsers out there to choose from, and excellent extensions that will actually work for you. Why would you even risk it?
If you’re really in love with the idea of Chrome and you’re looking for a great browser that runs on the Chromium engine, try the original that started it all: Chromium. Google loved it so much, they made Chrome off it and Chrome-clones have been racing to grab a share of the market ever since. Chromium is everything people love about Chrome without the questionable aspects you’re trying to avoid. With the right extensions, you can navigate the web safely and smartly without sacrificing your personal data or privacy to anyone, whether it’s Citrio/Epom, Google or anyone else.
Until then, protect your privacy and personal data by making smarter choices. Because sometimes no is the smartest choice of all.