Free Crapware Prevention Tool


Free Crapware Prevention Tool

by Jim Hillier for Daves Computer Tips

We recently asked our TechTalk contributors to recommend a favorite FREE application or tool that they currently use. This post is the Dave’s Computer Tips response to our request.
–PC Pitstop.

You could be forgiven for thinking we are on an ‘anti crapware’ crusade this week, what with Marc’s excellent How do you handle crapware article, my recent experience installing ImgBurn, and now this article, it certainly seems that way. The truth is, it’s all purely coincidental. It is, however, maybe a sign of the times… the way things are going with all this crapware constantly foisted upon us with almost every software installation, it was probably inevitable and is certainly topical.

Everyone here at DCT deplores the worsening situation involving software installations and bundling, and I suspect we are not Robinson Crusoe. Seems developers and vendors are bent on expanding this practice, and they aren’t averse to drawing from the sneaky tactics department either.

I first came across Unchecky a few weeks ago and my immediate reaction was… what a great concept! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve queried clients about toolbars installed on their machines and they’ve had no idea what it does or where it came from. This is just the sort of situation Unchecky is designed to help prevent.

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These excerpts are shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.

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5 thoughts on “Free Crapware Prevention Tool

  1. Trying to check Dave’s above links and Webroot stopped me from going on to the unchecky.com/ site. Clicked on the link and Webroot flashed that it was unsafe due to malicious malware on the site. I am not ‘techy’, but I thought it was strange that the first link Dave used for verification (WOT), listed it as a server located in the USA and the second link (Norton), listed the server in Germany?

  2. Mike and Michael,
    We always check anything and everything we recommend. Unchecky is no exception to this rule. It gets a clean bill of health from Virus Total (including F-secure) and the results can be found at https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/9655fc3441f6ce2ecfc7c0f268e5bcd69f8956a9a026b1133517b85478b1d71d/analysis/.

    With that said I could see how an AV program could see the program as spyware/adware/PUP because it writes to the Windows hosts file and there must be references within the program for the offers, installers, and crapware that the program intends to prevent and/or remove.

    The site, http://unchecky.com/, has a safe rating by WOT (viewable at https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/unchecky.com) and Norton Safe Web (viewable at https://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=http%3A%2F%2Funchecky.com%2F).

    While I can’t speak directly of Win XP I can say that the program has been installed on Win 7 and Win 8. Installation is straightforward and the hosts file was only modified to prevent crapware domains (such as opencandy) from connecting. All modifications to the hosts file were removed upon uninstallation. Is it possible you have another security program preventing Unchecky from writing the hosts file to disk?

  3. F-secure has flagged this up as spyware, and if using Windows XP is almost impossible to get rid of. It keeps creating host files apparently. Why has this not been checked thoroughly before publishing its supposed benefits. If it is a spyware program I can see no benefit to me.

  4. When I downloaded this tool some spyware came with it,I don’t know what it was but my security software got rid of it

  5. can’t wait to load this into my secretary’s desk top, our software is constantly updating and she doesn’t understand the need to look at the checked boxes, so I am regularly uninstalling toolbars and more that we don’t need.

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