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Adapted from an article by Mark Joyner, Killer Tactics Journal.

You may have heard about an insidious new technology from Microsoft called the "Smart Tag". The tags themselves have many applications, but the bottom line is that your visitors can be "stolen" and your web site can be "hijacked" without your knowledge or consent by Microsoft and their advertisers. TextPipe Pro is the ideal tool to prevent this "theft". Read on for more details...

See also PC Magazine.

How Smart Tags Can "Steal" Your Visitors

Let's say that you have the word "turtle" on your website. If Microsoft, or one of their advertisers wants to attract visitors related to that word, they can use smart tag technology to put a click-able icon next to every instance of that word. These "instances" can be within one of several apps on your machine - including Internet Explorer.

Here's how it looks:

As you can see, anyone who visits your site could see one of these links, click on it, and be taken away to another location. Your visitor has just been poached!

The implications are menacing. Response rates to your various websites will go down dramatically as the tags become supported by more and more users. If your site is full of links to other sites, it will be increasingly difficult to keep the attention of your visitors long enough to close a sale. As if it wasn't hard enough already!

The Seriousness of the Threat

Microsoft, apparently to allay the fears of webmasters across the globe, announced that the new Smart Tag technology would be removed from Windows XP.

Most people are spreading this news to tell everyone that the threat is gone. This is not the case.

What most people don't know is that Office XP already supports Smart Tags. Anyone that has Office XP installed can see the tags now. As this new version of Office gets wider and wider acceptance, the seriousness of this threat will increase. Further, no one knows if IE 6.0 will recognize the tags independently of Office XP.

What You Can do to Protect Yourself

Click below to download a free TextPipe Pro filter that prevents smart tag-generated links from appearing on your pages - without you having to edit a single page by hand, even if you have thousands of web pages!

Download Download smart_tag.fll (1 KB)

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