Think of BHODemon as a guardian for your Internet Explorer browser: it protects you from unknown Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), by letting you enable/disable them individually.
It also monitors your Registry and alerts you when a BHO is installed. Best of all, BHODemon knows about the most common BHOs - the good ones, and the not-so-good ones!
What is a Browser Helper Object?
A Browser Helper Object, or BHO, is just a small program that runs automatically every time you start your Internet browser. Usually, a BHO is installed on your system by another software program. For example, Go!Zilla, the downloading utility, installs a BHO created by Radiate (formerly Aureate Media); this BHO tracks which advertisements you see as you surf the Web.
The natural question is, what do BHOs do? The technical answer is "anything", but generally, it will have something to do with helping you browse the Internet. Of course, some BHOs are what is called "ad-ware" or "spyware": they do things like monitor the websites you visit and report this data back to their creators.
Although many people are extremely concerned about them because of the privacy issue, BHOs are not necessarily bad things, and most of them are well-intentioned and beneficial. For example, the P3P ("Platform for Privacy Preferences") program spearheaded by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) and major vendors, including Microsoft, AT&T, and IBM, will be delivered as a BHO. Some BHOs, however, are placed secretly on your system, and there is certainly no technical reason why they could not be programmed to send information about your system (or your web surfing habits) over the Internet without your knowledge.
Also, there is no restriction on what a BHO can do your system; it can do anything any other program can do: read or write (or delete) anything on your system. Usually, software is installed on your system explicitly by you; when you do so, you are, in effect, saying that you trust the vendor. BHOs, however, have a history of being installed without the users knowledge (fine print notwithstanding).
Given that (a) BHOs can do absolutely anything to your system, and (b) they are often installed without your knowledge, there is a distinct potential for abuse by vendors. The problem is, until now you had no way of knowing which BHOs are on your machine, who put them there, and what they do. This is what BHODemon does - it lets you easily manage your BHOs, and tells you what each BHO on your system is doing.
- BHODemon help file is available here.
- Help support the global fight against spyware and BHODemon developers using this link.