What you need to know about Lenovo’s Superfish problem


In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Lenovo Insider.  I am not paid for my participation in the program, but I do get access to some awesome folks at Lenovo, and access to awesome products from time to time.  The web has been quite a-buzz with talk about Lenovo’s Superfish problem, and you might not know all the facts in place.  You only see Facebook articles and News folks saying how Lenovo can not be trusted.

There is nothing I hate more than fear mongering when it comes to technology.  While there are valid concerns with what happened, there are also some over the top reactions.  In this fully transparent world, I’ve always said that the worst thing a company can do when faced with a crisis is to pretend it didn’t happen/try to cover it up/go radio silent.  Lenovo did nothing of the sort.  I am definitely proud to still stand behind a brand that, despite a mistake, continues to make quality products.

So, in real terms, what exactly happened and are you affected is what you need answers to!

So what is Superfish?

The Superfish is software that can be placed on the computer to help deliver more targeted ads to the consumer.

Why is it bad?

First, who wants additional unnecessary software preinstalled on their computers?  It comes with enough junk as it is.  The second really concerning thing, which is why Lenovo got into big trouble, was that this particular software had some serious security flaws that could open your computer up to unwanted attackers.

Are you affected?

Did you purchase an IdeaPad device between September 2014 and January 2015?  Then likely, yes, you were affected.  Scurry right on over to Lenovo’s official removal tool to remove the software and the security risk from your computer.

Why this can turn into a positive.

PC’s today can come pre-loaded with just a whole bunch of junk.  It’s gotten to the point where most people in the know will reformat a PC as soon as they get it, and clean install the operating system.  Unfortunately, it can be daunting to do a clean install on a PC and the general population doesn’t know how to do this.  This situation has opened up the conversation for brands like Lenovo to consider the option of offering cleanly installed PC’s from the start.

When a company makes a huge mistake like this, and they react with honesty and action (read their open letter), then you can be sure that they are going to put systems in place that guarantee they don’t end up in the dog house again.  If I was a betting a woman, I would say that Lenovo is currently creating systems that are probably going to be even MORE secure than it’s competition now.

While I’m not trying to minimize that Lenovo made a mistake, and a pretty big one, what I am saying is that the majority of you are probably not affected by what happened, and the media can sensationalize things like this to make you think you are.


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.



About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com

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