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The W - Internet & Computers - Software Question
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pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


I was watching the local news this morning and they ran one of those techie spots where they touted NoAdware for spyware protection and Error Nuker as a registry cleaner.

So do I need to install these to clean my PC or should I just be ignoring these products? I am always wary of FREE downloads, since you usually get what you pay for.

Any help will be greatly appreciated here in Bedrock.




The World Champion New York Football Giants
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cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.50

I've no experience with either of the programs you mention there, but I'm sure someone will chime in about them specifically.

As for spyware, some free products are OK.

I've had good luck with Adaware and "Spybot: Search & Destroy".

For anti-virus I'm currently using the AVG free edition and couldn't be happier with it. I may actually upgrade to the pay version.

For registry cleaning...I maintain that on my own for the most part.

Free doesn't always = bad, but I've seen "infomercials" for free software...the infomercials always make me think the products might be a little dubious.
drjayphd
Scrapple
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Since: 22.4.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.52
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

"If I was doing the Mann Act with two chicks, there'd be multiple violations." (JustinShapiro)


    Originally posted by cranlsn
    Free doesn't always = bad, but I've seen "infomercials" for free software...the infomercials always make me think the products might be a little dubious.


"Ever think you might have worms?"

Because that program is, and was, complete and utter spyware. We had to keep cleaning up after it back when I worked at the school's help desk.



rinberg
Boudin rouge








Since: 30.1.02
From: South Georgia

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
My first response is that if you don't have problems, don't mess with success. Then, if you do have spyware or registry problems, go to where alot of people download there stuff from. I make no endorsement of either one, but the two that come immediately to mind are download.com (download.com) and tucows.com (tucows.com). Look up whatever category you are looking for and then sort by "Downloads" or "User Rating" and pick one of the ones that ranks highest. It's not a scientific method by any means but this is a simplified write up of how I find my software. (I read the user reviews and do some other looking and thinking before clicking the link.)

Above all else, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.



One of the Thirty-two (or maybe Thirty-four....)!

kaynart. Get yours at flagrantdisregard.com/flickr
wmatistic
Andouille








Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
I use Microsoft Defender, which is free to install for XP and comes built in to Vista. I download Spybot S&D and use it just for the immunize feature like once a month.

I have a program that was highly reviewed called Registry Mechanic that does a great job, but is not free. However honestly when I feel like my registry is so clogged with old junk that it needs cleaning, well to me that's time to format and reinstall everything. It's the best registry cleaner you can find and it costs nothing but an afternoon of work(or less if you made a ghost image of a clean system previously).

I go to pretty questionable sites being an IT guy that likes to keep up with hacking and security concerns and I NEVER, ever get any spyware on my system other than tracking cookies.

Which reminds me, if you use IE go to the Tools menu, Options, Privacy tab and check to Override automatic handling. Accept First party and Block third party, but check to allow session cookies.

It's a small step but it does cut down on a lot of pointless cookies.
Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 360 days
Last activity: 321 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
I installed this NoAdware to give it a shot. Before running, I ran Spybot - Search and Destroy, Windows Defender, and AdAware SE Personal.
This scanner claims to have found 20 Registry entries, 8 Cookies, and 4 Spyware related files.
The problem is that other than the cookies (which are pretty low on the importance scale), all the rest appear to be false positives. 12 of the registry entries are "Dangerous" entries included because they have Gnutella in the name, which NoAdware claims is from BearShare (which comes bundled with spyware). But it's not from BearShare, it's from Shareaza, which has no spyware. 6 are references to the protections that Spybot adds to Internet Explorer, where it moves known bad sites to IE's Restricted Sites list. If you remove them from the registry, that's going to make your computer less safe. It says I should be very worried about having unins000.exe in my Windows directory. unins000.exe is in most cases a standard uninstall file. But NoAdware sees it and decides I must have a keylogger on my system.

And of course when the search is finished, in order to remove any of these dangerous entries you've found, you've got to pay for the program, which is $37.

If you want to pay for a program, PC Magazine gave Spyware Doctor With Antivirus 5.5 4.5 stars. It's got a cost of $39.95.

If you'd like to try the free options, go with what people are recommending.
Merc
Potato korv








Since: 3.1.02
From: Brisbane, Australia

Since last post: 1198 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by cranlsn

    I've had good luck with Adaware and "Spybot: Search & Destroy".

    For anti-virus I'm currently using the AVG free edition and couldn't be happier with it. I may actually upgrade to the pay version.



I'm pretty much with cranlsn - except I went to the paid version of AVG about 18 months ago.
I also use Hijack This for cleaning up registry stuff.
If you read the help stuff for the way HJT categorises stuff and do a little googling, you can learn the dubious keys/BHOs pretty easily.
ironcladlou
Potato korv








Since: 2.1.02
From: Quincy, MA

Since last post: 2173 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.09
I consider myself something of an expert on spyware. Working IT in places where the secretaries will install any damn thing that appears on their screen will do that. Now, in terms of removal, from the perspective of someone who's not very knowledgeable, Spybot and Ad-Aware are your best bets. Honestly, I wouldn't trust anything else. There are more advanced tools for removal out there, but they also require more advanced knowledge. If you really get stuck after using those two, PM me and I might be able to help you out.

For keeping the crap off, install Mozilla Firefox and use it exclusively. The two extensions that will greatly reduce risk of attack are Adblock Plus (really more of an annoyance stopper than anything) and NoScript (completely disables Javascript & Flash, which may reduce some websites' functionality). Really, though, if you install Firefox and exercise good judgement when installing programs or opening email attachments, your chances of attack are slim to none.



"I could drown the pain, and drink upon commuter trains, and here you stand in eastern standard time"
- Mike Doughty
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


    Originally posted by ironcladlou

    For keeping the crap off, install Mozilla Firefox and use it exclusively. The two extensions that will greatly reduce risk of attack are Adblock Plus (really more of an annoyance stopper than anything) and NoScript (completely disables Javascript & Flash, which may reduce some websites' functionality). Really, though, if you install Firefox and exercise good judgement when installing programs or opening email attachments, your chances of attack are slim to none.


Well, this is exactly how it works at our house. We only use Firefox and my wife has been trained to be deathly afraid of opening any attachments or downloading anything at all. So maybe we're good.




The World Champion New York Football Giants
ironcladlou
Potato korv








Since: 2.1.02
From: Quincy, MA

Since last post: 2173 days
Last activity: 2025 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.09
    Originally posted by pieman
    Well, this is exactly how it works at our house. We only use Firefox and my wife has been trained to be deathly afraid of opening any attachments or downloading anything at all. So maybe we're good.


If it ain't broke...



"I could drown the pain, and drink upon commuter trains, and here you stand in eastern standard time"
- Mike Doughty
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