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Spyware/Malware Removal program recommendations


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#1 mechem

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:12 AM

For whatever reason SUPERAntiSpyware Free has stopped finding Tracking Cookies for me using their Quick Scan. I know all about tracking cookies and how they fit in to computer security. I want to be able to identify tracking cookies and remove them. Unfortunately SAS, a program I used for quite a long time, will no longer do this for me.

I am looking for recommendations for Spyware/Malware removal programs. I have used both Ad Aware and Spybot S&D in the past but had moved to SAS based on advice from sites like this. I see they are no longer recommended. So what else is available besides SAS? I use MSE as my antivirus and also have MBAM installed but still would like an additional scanner available that I can use specifically to find tracking cookies. I prefer a free program as well.

Edited by mechem, 15 January 2011 - 10:18 AM.


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#2 Misaki

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:31 PM

Hi,

For whatever reason SUPERAntiSpyware Free has stopped finding Tracking Cookies for me using their Quick Scan. I know all about tracking cookies and how they fit in to computer security. I want to be able to identify tracking cookies and remove them. Unfortunately SAS, a program I used for quite a long time, will no longer do this for me.

Do you get an error upon scanning? I would suggest a simple cleaner, such as CCleaner as an alternative. It gets rid of Temporary Files and cookies, though it will not be as detailed compared to SUPERAntiSpyware. Another good program would be OldTimer's Temp File Cleaner (TFC), which can be downloaded 'here'. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware does remove cookies as well. However, the best thing that can prevent the appearance of such files would have to be a properly configured web browser.

I am looking for recommendations for Spyware/Malware removal programs. I have used both Ad Aware and Spybot S&D in the past but had moved to SAS based on advice from sites like this. I see they are no longer recommended. So what else is available besides SAS? I use MSE as my antivirus and also have MBAM installed but still would like an additional scanner available that I can use specifically to find tracking cookies. I prefer a free program as well.

I would like to inform you that though security programs might make you feel secure on the Internet (they contribute to it), having too many of these installed at once will result to a conflict. Your current list, as I am told, consists of the following. Please correct me if mistaken.

  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Free
  • SUPEAntiSpyware Free
In my opinion, a decent list would have to include the following;

  • One Anti-Virus (with Real-time Protection)
  • One Firewall
  • One or more Anti-Malware programs (with no more than one having Real-Time Protection)
  • Supplementary programs such as WinPatrol
Assessing your current installations would give us,

  • One Anti-Virus (with Real-time Protection) ()
  • One Firewall (x)
  • One or more Anti-Malware programs (with no more than one having Real-Time Protection) ()
  • Supplementary programs such as WinPatrol (x)
I do not recommend having Microsoft Security Essentials as your main Anti-Virus. There are a lot of free ones available, which I will list if you so wish, including one for Firewalls.

Getting back to your original query, the only program I can think of is SpywareBlaster.

Misaki

#3 Sightless

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 01:28 AM

I do not recommend having Microsoft Security Essentials as your main Anti-Virus. There are a lot of free ones available, which I will list if you so wish, including one for Firewalls.


Again, you do not suggest MSE, but offer no reason.
Copied from my post in a different topic

I think you're a bit behind the times, Misaki. MSE is now one of the most recommended, if not the number 1 recommended, free anti-virus program at many forums. The reason being its ease of use, and incredible detection rates. It is easily on par with Avast and Avira.
mechem, you should be fine with Microsoft Security Essentials, it is probably the most user friendly antivirus out there.


And regarding a firewall, if running Windows 7 or Vista, a 3rd party firewall is not necessary. Windows firewall should be sufficient, unless for some strange reason you require HIPS protection.

Edited by Sightless, 16 January 2011 - 01:37 AM.


#4 ThunderZ

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:19 AM

For whatever reason SUPERAntiSpyware Free has stopped finding Tracking Cookies for me using their Quick Scan. I know all about tracking cookies and how they fit in to computer security. I want to be able to identify tracking cookies and remove them.


SAS is still a very valuable tool for finding and eliminating more serious problems.
The proper Browser configuration will eliminate\block many tracking cookies right from the start. Little need for a third party app to do this.

There are exceptions to this of course. Flash cookies < some reading material and a newer one on the scene called the "evercookie" < more reading. Depending again on the Browser, flash cookies can be blocked or eliminated upon closing the browser with the help of a third party app or plug-in.

Still waiting for an app or way to be found for blocking or eliminating the "evercookie".

#5 ThunderZ

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:22 AM

[*]One or more Anti-Malware programs (with no more than one having Real-Time Protection) ()
Misaki



This can be done and many even recommend it. It just requires the proper programs and configuration.

Total agreement with Sightless. If an install and forget AV is desired then MSE is the way to go.

I prefer a bit more control and like to configure my own AV to suit the need`s of a particular PC. So I do not use MSE. But do recommend it to those looking for a free solution that is as good as any out there.

Edited by ThunderZ, 16 January 2011 - 06:26 AM.


#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:55 AM

The proper Browser configuration will eliminate\block many tracking cookies right from the start. Little need for a third party app to do this.

...
Depending again on the Browser, flash cookies can be blocked or eliminated upon closing the browser with the help of a third party app or plug-in.


I second that. I use Firefox with the profile manager so that I've different profiles for different types of web sites. In most profiles, I've configured FF to delete all data (except saved passwords protected by a master password) when closing, so all cookies get deleted.
And for the Flash cookies, I use an addon (BetterPrivacy).

So I don't try to keep "good" cookies and remove "bad" cookies, I throw them all away. Of course, one consequence is that I've to re-login to websites each time I start FF.

Didier Stevens
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#7 Didier Stevens

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:00 AM

Still waiting for an app or way to be found for blocking or eliminating the "evercookie".


Take a look here: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/10/it-is-possible-to-kill-the-evercookie.ars

Didier Stevens
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#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:25 AM

I second that. I use Firefox with the profile manager so that I've different profiles for different types of web sites. In most profiles, I've configured FF to delete all data (except saved passwords protected by a master password) when closing, so all cookies get deleted.
And for the Flash cookies, I use an addon (BetterPrivacy).

So I don't try to keep "good" cookies and remove "bad" cookies, I throw them all away. Of course, one consequence is that I've to re-login to websites each time I start FF.



:thumbup2: To FF and BetterPrivacy. I threw in TACO for some initial cookie blocking.

One exception. I run a single profile. All cookies get dumped. Keep my pass words in a simple text document. Easy enough to copy and paste if I`m feeling particularly lazy. :P

#9 ThunderZ

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 07:31 AM


Still waiting for an app or way to be found for blocking or eliminating the "evercookie".


Take a look here: http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2010/10/it-is-possible-to-kill-the-evercookie.ars



Will have a closer look at that and the deletion method soon.

Still have not sat down and played with :busy: Arid yet.

#10 mechem

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:11 PM

On my system I have:

MSE (real time AV)
Built in Win 7 Firewall
MBAM Free
Spywareblaster
SAS Free
CCleaner

Since MSE is the only real time protection I am not concerned about conflicts and have not experienced any conflict problems unless of course the SAS problem is related, but I really don't think it is.

Re: MSE. I ran AVG Free on my old system for years and for the most part was satisfied but I did get one serious virus and then something else that ultimately did in the computer. I know no AV is perfect but I had (and continue to) read good things about MSE and figured I'd give it a try with the new system.

On my old system in addition to the above (and AVG Free ipo MSE) I had ATF cleaner and Ad Aware and Spybot S&D. I had basically stopped using the latter two after installing SAS but now since SAS isn't working for me I may use one and or the other of those again.

I was not planning on running a real time Anti Malware because I don't really know of any free versions other than Ad Aware or Spybot S&D and many says their real time protections cause conflicts. So I planned to use SAS Free on demand until I started having problems with it.

I have a thread about the problems I am having with SAS. In summary in Quck Scan mode SAS is no longer finding tracking cookies (it did for several weeks of use) which are found by the Full Scan. Did an uninstall/reinstall of SAS with no change so rather than do Full Scans I'd prefer something else to find tracking cookies.

CCleaner finds cookies but doesn't separate out tracking cookies from others and since there are a few cookies I prefer to keep to help some websites run smoother I would rather have a program that specifically finds tracking cookies. I do have my browser set to restrict most cookies so I don't worry too much but I still want the option of seeing what is on my system and removing them.

So again I will ask if there is any recommended Anti Spyware program that does find tracking cookies? Are there really concerns with Ad Aware and Spybot S&D if only used as on demand scanners (i.e. no tea timer)?

#11 Sightless

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 04:11 PM

To be honest, you shouldn't be too worried about tracking cookies. They are harmless.
You can go into CCleaner and whitelist certain cookies (such as for your bank, facebook, etc) so that they will not be deleted when you delete the rest of your temporary files.

Edited by Sightless, 16 January 2011 - 04:11 PM.





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