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.

  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.

  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.

  Alan2 17:08 17 Aug 2003

I know this is drifting off the thread subject but to pick up on Wes Tam ;-)'s last point about our habits being monitored many folks will be aware that leading retailers are testing tags secured to goods which can "potentially" be used to track the movements of the subject items - AFTER they've left the store!

  AlanHo 07:48 19 Aug 2003

I did as you suggested and changed the cookie settings. Since the change AdAware has not detected any data miners at all.

Thanks for your help.

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