Just when you think it can’t happen to you, it does. And what makes it even more funny is the fact that I knew about the problem before hand, but didn’t think to remember it when it happened. Anyways, long story short, I ran Spybot a few weeks ago because my computer was tweaking out. Mind you, I’m not the most “under the hood” kinda guy. I heard great things about Spybot and because it’s free, I used it.
After running the full scan, as with most spyware/adware solutions, I was presented with a list of items which could potentially be hindering/affecting the performance of my computer. Without doing much more research, I decided to let Spybot fix and/or remove all of the potential problems it found. Besides, I don’t really have time to query all of the various cookies and verify on my own whether or not they are evil doers.
Great, the scan is done and problem solved. Or at least that’s what the hope is. Sure enough, I go to login to my affiliate network and can’t because Spybot is blocking cookies. After customizing the browser internet options and making various site exceptions, I’m back in business. However, since the process was such a pain in the ass, I went ahead and uninstalled Spybot altogether. Truthfully, the only reason I installed it was to find the problems and delete them. Problem solved, software gone.
Fast forward a month or so to present day. I’m working on a new commission junction campaign and setting up the landing page links. Weird. The commission junction links don’t work. Contacted the advertiser and they can’t seem to replicate the problem. Contacted my friend and asked him to verify whether the links are working. Well what do you know, they work fine he says. Hmmm…
Oh, that’s right (slips and falls hitting my head on the toilet), didn’t CPA Affiliates mention something about Spybot killing your affiliate sales? Problem is, when I originally read the post, I didn’t really know wtf they were talking about. Oh, I think I have a much better understanding now.
Which leads me to part II of the Spybot search and destroy saga. How exactly do you fix the problem now that Spybot has already been uninstalled? After some Google poking, I came across the following fix:
Locate your “hosts” file in one of the following directories:
Windows 95/98/Me c:windowshosts
Windows NT/2000/XP Pro c:winntsystem32driversetchosts
Windows XP Home c:windowssystem32driversetchosts
Once you locate the hosts file, open it up with your favorite text editor such as notepad and remove any lines with the following:
After that, save and close your browsers. The links should work now. If the links still don’t work, make sure you are editing the hosts file located in the specific directory mentioned above.
And on a final note, Yodama, a member of Team Spybot, indicates that they have since removed apmebf.com, emjcd.com and kqzyfj.com from the hosts and Internet Explorer immunization. So there you go, short story long. 😉