PC Advisor Website and Ad Aware

  AlanHo 06:35 17 Aug 2003

In conjunction with a virus programme and Firewall I regularly use Ad-aware to keep my computer clean of any nasties - but every time I run it I find the same data miners back again.

I have just done a little experimenting to try and trace the source of the files highlighted by Ad-aware and have discovered that some files seem to be created every time I visit the PC Advisor website.

If I run Ad-aware, delete all the files it highlights then go just to the PC Advisor Helproom and ConsumerWatch site on the web - the following data miner files show up if I then run Ad-aware again.

[email protected][1].txt

[email protected][1].txt

[email protected][1].txt

[email protected][1].txt

If the files are harmless - why does Ad-aware flag them up.

If they are undesirable for any reason - why are they created by the PC Advisor site.

  [DELETED] 07:07 17 Aug 2003

Ad-aware will only inform you, not prevent the installation, of aware and spyware. It is up to you regarding what to do with them.

I run Ad-aware and Spybot S&D but I never get the items you refer to flagged up and I do visit this site with some regularity. I should tell you though, that I also run Spyware Blaster and Spywareguard which do prevent the installation of adware and spyware click here click here

  [DELETED] 07:10 17 Aug 2003

P.S Only PCA can give a definitive answer to your last sentence.

But, don't get too paranoid about them. PCA is a reputable concern

  rawprawn 08:06 17 Aug 2003

pops is right, take note of the suggestions to install Spyware Blaster & Spywareguard. You will have no further problems.

  AlanHo 08:26 17 Aug 2003

You guys are quite correct - I installed Spyware Blaster and the data miner files did not re-appear.

As a check - I uninstalled Spyware Blaster and the files came back again. But I may have done PC Advisor a dis-service because it has also happened from another website. Could it be something related to being on broadband ?

I am not concerned about the files - the computer is running fine and I simply delete all the files that Ad-aware finds - I am just curious about their origin and what they do.

  [DELETED] 09:13 17 Aug 2003

I doubt it is anything to do with broadband.

Don't get overly concerned about these things, they are used in any number of websites. As for the real motive of them, only PCA is able to give you a definitive answer.

Normally the explanation of their presence tends to be rather flippant and uninformative and extends to something like "to give you a better surfing experience" which means absolutely nothing at all.

As long as you have these things under control with the blocking devices described, use the Internet for something useful and enjoyable rather than investigating the little foibles and quirks that it has - an electronic advancement on contemplating its own navel.

  [DELETED] 09:46 17 Aug 2003

AlanHo If you open your cookies folder, double click the red 'No-Entry' sign (Restricted sites) and add the offending sites to your restricted sites ,they should no longer be accepted by IE.
Hope this is of some use.

  [DELETED] 09:46 17 Aug 2003

These are 'tracking' cookies, used to see where you go on the site. They don't do anything "bad" and Adaware only suggests removing them because it likes to give people a reason to be paranoid. At least 2 of the ones you have listed are used for the adverts on this site. Most of the time they don't have any information to identify you, just to see what your habits are.

  [DELETED] 09:49 17 Aug 2003

As Sir Radfordin says they are cookies and also if you enter a poll here it then enters a cookie in your cache, so that every-time you log in you do not take the poll again

  Forum Editor 10:08 17 Aug 2003

cookies are almost always harmless. They are there for a number of reasons - the main one being to record your visits to web pages. Site owners can tell which pages you visit, and how often. They can also be used (with your consent) to enter your username and password for you when you visit a site that has controlled access, and to record the fact that you've entered competitions or online polls.

As far as reputable site owners are concerned there's really no more to it than that, although many people believe that cookies have a more sinister purpose. That's the result of Internet rumours and paranoia.

Virtually all Internet technologies can be misused, but sites that do it are few and far between - at least if you keep away from porn and warez sites they are.

  [DELETED] 10:15 17 Aug 2003

Although in the main they are harmless, isn't there something illegal about having no say in what is dumped onto our PCs in order to track our surfing?

How many of us would gladly accept a telephone bugging device to track who we phone?, or a hidden camera to see what our habits are? :o)

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