I’ve had my primary Gmail account since early 2004, when it was first introduced by Google for beta testing. Back then, you couldn’t just sign up for it – you had to be invited. And when you created your account, you were given a certain number of invites that you could send out to your friends. It would have been really cool to be able to get “firstname.lastname@example.org” but someone snagged that one before I could get it. I got “email@example.com” though and I’ve been pretty happy with it.
Anyway, when you’ve had an email address for so many years, it really kind of serves as a sort of timeline for what goes on in your life. And a lot of this is documented in photos.
The latest trend is to NOT send photos by email. Now we can post them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or a Picasa Google web album. This is much easier, because then you can just email a link to the photos rather than sending a bunch of large photos as an email attachment.
However, for many years, people sent and received lots of pictures through email. In fact, if you have had your email account for a few years or longer, it’s almost a certainty that you have photos stored in there from old emails that you have probably forgotten about.
Now there’s a way to go and find those “lost” photos. It’s through a free program called Lost Photos. You can get it at LostPhotosapp.com.
The idea behind this program is that it will go searching through all of your old emails, find the ones with photos attached, and then display them for you to view. Then, you can click to easily share them on Facebook or Twitter. This program is available for both Windows and Mac computers.
Lost Photos is designed to work with web-based email accounts, such as Gmail. It will work with these email services:
- any email account that is routed through your Google account
There may be some others that it will work with – you would have to try it to find out.
To use it, go to the website and click the “Download Now” button (or click the small link to go to the Mac version if appropriate).
Once it is downloaded (just takes a few seconds), you just go through the installation process as you normally would. At first I was optimistic that there would be no additional “junkware” that would try to piggyback in with the Lost Photos software, but that was not to be.
After the installation seems to be completed, you will see this screen that offers you the “opportunity” to install this thing called “Fastest Chrome”. I don’t know if everyone would get this or if the software recognized I was using Chrome and based it on that. Anyway, this is what the screen looks like:
I have no idea how well “Fastest Chrome” works or what it actually does. That installation window tells me all I need to know. See how the “Agree” button is fully displayed, and the “Decline” button is ghosted out, as if it is not clickable? A lot of people will see that and instinctively click on Agree. But both buttons are equally clickable. When a software developer feels the need to trick you into installing a program, it makes me wonder how else they are going to try to scam me. I just clicked Decline.
Then, ANOTHER scam junkware install came up. This time it was for the “Default Tab Search Bar” and it looked like this:
As you can see, this one uses the same install trick with the “Decline” button ghosted, but it also adds some very confusing language at the top. The 3 web browser choices are already checked by default, and the instructions say “Browser to be updated. Select that you don’t want DefaultTab installed on.” This is another typical tactic – confuse the reader with poorly worded sentence and double negatives, in hopes that some people will mistakenly install the crapware on their computer.
I read it a few times, and figured that the instructions meant to check the box for the browser(s) that you DON’T want to install this on. So I left all 3 checked, then I clicked Decline.
Frankly, at this point I had just about had it with this installation. Once a program tries to trick me into doing something that is bad for my computer just so that they can make a few dollars, I see no reason to trust them for anything after that. This installation did that TWICE.
And then look what happens after that.
The program runs, and what is the first thing it asks for? My email address, and the password to my email account.
So after two blatant scam attempts, they now want me to trust them with the password to my email account(s)? That’s not gonna happen. Oh, sure they put all the disclaimers on their site, like “We take your privacy seriously”, etc. At this point their claims of honesty and integrity fell on deaf ears. I uninstalled the program and will not recommend it.
Here’s the truth. The first time I saw this program, I immediately saw the potential in the idea behind it. I also saw it as a great thing to review here on my blog. I love finding stuff like this. But it’s even more important to me to make sure that whatever I recommend to you will HELP you, not HURT you.
In a few cases, the software itself is worth navigating around the tricky installation process. In this case, as I got further into it and saw the scummy way they operate and then want me to trust them with my private information, I said no way. I hope you feel the same way. Maybe some day these companies will get the message.