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Good way to clean computer from porn?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Ghalt

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 06:44 PM

I have a friend...seriously...who has a laptop he wants to give to his daughter. But he has used it to surf porn sites pretty heavily.

Aside from the virus security risks, he just wants it cleaned up so his daughter (and his wife) doesn't find any residual things that would be inappropriate.

Is there free software out there that detects and cleans everything? I know that just going and clearing browser history isn't necessarily enough. He gave me the computer because I know way more about computers than he does, but I thought I'd check with the experts here.

I've cleared everything through IE (the only browser he had installed). I also went into his user account on the c: drive and checked browser cache, history, downloads, favorites, etc., making sure everything was clear.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:40 PM

IMHO, the only sure way is to reinstall Windows.
Since the computer goes to someone else, it makes perfect sense.

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#3 quietman7

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:37 AM

If he also saved photos/images and later deleted them, those types of files can possibly be recovered and a reformat and clean reinstall as Broni suggests would be the best solution to ensure every trace has been removed.

If that is not an option or if browsing ONLY was involved, then two of the more effective tools to remove traces of Internet activity are:Although these types of tools do a good job, there is no guarantee that something will not be missed. It really depends on how thorough you are trying to be.

Edited by quietman7, 10 November 2010 - 07:53 AM.

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#4 Ghalt

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:08 AM

Thanks! Privacy Eraser worked great.


If he also saved photos/images and later deleted them, those types of files can possibly be recovered and a reformat and clean reinstall as Broni suggests would be the best solution to ensure every trace has been removed.

If that is not an option or if browsing ONLY was involved, then two of the more effective tools to remove traces of Internet activity are:

Although these types of tools do a good job, there is no guarantee that something will not be missed. It really depends on how thorough you are trying to be.



#5 quietman7

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:04 AM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.
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#6 Mooseby

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:17 PM

I would really recommend a clean install with full format, there is too high a likelyhood that the system files are compromised.

Edited by Mooseby, 12 November 2010 - 03:18 PM.


#7 quietman7

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:05 PM

there is too high a likelyhood that the system files are compromised

How do you know this? Do you have support for such a statement?
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#8 Romeo29

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:08 AM

Actually with Windows XP and above, its pretty easy. Just create a new user account and dump the old account. Your browsing history, documents etc are all stored in user profile. Deleting a user account will get rid of all that. But there are two glitches -

1. If you surfed porn using an Admin account and got infected with malware like a porn dialer, then it will make system level changes and all accounts will be affected. (a porn dialer program usually has a dirty icon)
2. If you saved files not to "My Documents" but to some custom folder like "c:\myporn\", and forgot later, then its going to be a problem. Once a friend of mine, who fixes computers as a side job, showed me people hiding dirty pics in a subfolder inside system folder like "c:\windows\system33".

Edited by Romeo29, 14 November 2010 - 12:14 AM.





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