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Thread: Ad-Aware

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Ad-Aware

    I have read in a recent technical type newsletter, that there might be a wave of anti Ad-Adware sentiment going around. While I have had and used Ad-Aware for some time, there is some sense to these opinions. The major objection seems to be LavaSoft's unwillingnes to supply updated reference files for the basic program. Version 5.83 is the latest build and this came out in June 2002 and they are "apparently" working on V6.0 due for release when ???

    The writers opinion is "would you use an anti-virus program with 6 month old .dat files and expect to get reasonable protection?" Then why use a spy detect program with un-updated reference files? They go on to recommend something like Spy-Bot to replace Ad-Adware.

    What are some of the Lounger's thoughts on this? <img src=/S/argue.gif border=0 alt=argue width=50 height=25>

    Bob
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I just looked at their website http://www.lavasoftusa.com and the have an updated reference file dated Sep 24, 2002.

    So the engine was last updated in June, but the "dat" file was updated at the end of September.

    I think its comparing apples to oranges, in this case. New Virii, and differnt strains of old ones, come out almost daily. Where as, Spyware doesn't have this kind of quick introduction.

    I have both Spy-Bot and AdAware, and I find AdAware, SO much easier to use.

    So, I'm stick with AdAware as my primary spyware removal tool, but Spy-Bot will still have it's place on my PC.

    Just Like, Notepad, WOrdPad, Programmers Notepad and Word all have their place on my PC. Different tools, for different jobs.

    Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> CAD.
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    Bryan took the words right out of my mouth.

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I have Ad-aware...never any problems. I tried SSD...too hard for me to configure.
    I will be keeping Ad-aware <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I too have both Ad-Aware and Spybot, and am a completely satisfied 'customer'. I do a daily (or so) sweep with AA, and a more infrequent sweep with Spybot for its more aggressive scanning. I don't believe the infrequent reference file updates for AA are any real detriment, due to their slow rate of introduction & evolution - especially when compared to viruses.

    I think the best defense against spyware though is to develop good browsing and downloading habits - trust only known sites, mistrust most others, research before downloading, and don't let just any site drop cookies or install 'helpful' programs. Pretty soon, regardless of the cleanup program you use, you'll find there's not much for them to actually clean up.

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    Last night, after I posted this, I decided to do quick and unscientific test.

    I ran AdAware, with the latest RefUpdate, and it found, 23 nasties, IIRC. Most were cookies.

    I then ran SpyBot with IT'S latest definitions. It found only 1 cookie that AdAware didn't.

    All that I want to say about this is that AdAware is still run almost daily, while SpyBot is run less frequently, maybe once a month.
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I have a question for you guys. I don't run AdAware but about once a month (or so) and usually the only thing it "finds" is one (or a few) cookies that it suggests deleting. Chief among those is always something called FASTCLICK. From looking at their web site, I can't really tell diddly about whether one should be deleting their cookies or not. I have no idea where I'm browsing or buying from that keeps putting the Fastclick cookies back on my system. Are they really someone we should be concerned with?

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I don't know much about Fastclick, but IIRC, it's an Ad server.

    The cookies are sent by websites that have Fastclick Ad banners on them. I'm pretty sure it's the same idea as doubleclick and the rest of that ilk.

    I typically delete anything that AdAware comes up with.

    Another <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> CAD
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    Bryan Carbonnell - Toronto <img src=/S/flags/Ontario.gif border=0 alt=Ontario width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Canada.gif border=0 alt=Canada width=30 height=18>
    Unfortunately common sense isn't so common!!
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    From Gibson's site...can't remember where exactly, but I had downloaded " nasties.reg " ...which, when merged in the Registry, will have the listing of all the 'nono ad sites' in the IE>Tools>Privacy tab...which then will never leave a cookie on your system.

    As to safe surfing practices...I never go to sites where I might get spyware installed...just 21 forums, 5 games sites...that's my daily routine...plus MSKBase. I run Ad-aware every evening and the only thing it ever found was Alexa when I did an IE Repair...never anything else <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    There have been some good comments in the replies to this thread. I generally agree with them, at least in the frequency of running each check. I do have and use both Ad-Aware and SpyBot also.
    I still think that LavaSoft should be more available for updates of it's own software (from It's own site) and not make you use RefUpdate, which is as the name implies, just a referral to a mirror site. Small potatoes, maybe. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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    Today it is called golf!

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    Hi Bob

    My take on refupdate is that it refers to Reference File Update, which is no different than updating your virus scanner reference files.
    The multiple mirror sites simply allow you to select a site that provides you with a fast link.

    As for Lavasoft's frequency of issuing new updates, I am nervous about the infrequency, but still believe the program is well worthwhile.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Ad-Aware

    I block ad banner cookies by setting "prompt" for persistent cookies (yes, it is annoying!) and adding their domains to my Restricted Zone as they reach out to touch me. I currently have *.fastclick.net in there, along with many others...

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    Lonnie, thanks for digging up that old gem. It's located here: http://ww.grc.com/cb-faq.htm I've modified the downloadable version to include some of my un-favorite places.

    Reading the FAQ on that page is a long process - but there's some excellent information, including a method to stealth all ports on a Linksys firewall (a popular item around here - and elsewhere). Good stuff.
    -Mark

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    Re: Ad-Aware

    Hi Jefferson
    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37>I was going to post a query about cookies which are getting on my nerves, particularly spyware, when I thought of searching the lounge for the keyword cookies, and so found this thread. I know tech columns tell people not to worry unduly about them, but the principle offends me. I don't see why I have to put up with some organisation dumping unwanted things on my PC and then, have them send info (what info?) back to base. So I've set IE to prompt before accepting cookies. This is working OK as I can allow only trusted sites - like wopr.com - to get through. But boy, is it a pain! Sometimes, there is no time to do anything except click NO to the prompt. As soon as one disappears, another arrives. And then, when they do 'stop', just as I click on something, another prompt arrives so the mouse click acts on 'YES - accept cookie' instead of the link I was pointing at. <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>

    What I wanted to ask was how does one set up a system to
    <hr>block ad banner cookies by setting "prompt" for persistent cookies (yes, it is annoying!) and adding their domains to my Restricted Zone as they reach out to touch me<hr>
    ? Can I have a set up whereby trusted sites are allowed cookies and all others are blocked? And are there any other side effects of blocking cookies? I'm not sure but pretty certain that, after blocking a cookie from a website, other things start failing, like links on the page, or downloads fail etc. Is that possible if cookies are so benign?
    Any pointers gratefully received.
    Thanks
    Silverback

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    MSIE Settings for Cookies

    The ways to deal with cookies are browser-dependent. In IE, you can define 3 zones other than My Computer and Intranet: Internet, Trusted, and Restricted. I have various sites in my Trusted zone, including the Lounge. In this zone, I let the site place cookies at will without any prompting. I also have many sites in my Restricted zone, particularly ad-banner-serving sites. Sites in the Restricted Zone are disabled from doing most anything but serving me pure HTML. The list is lengthy, and I add them as new ones come to my attention, since in my generic Internet zone, I prompt for persistent cookies. Adding sites to different zones usually requires a trip to:

    Tools | Internet Options... | Security tab | [click zone icon] | Sites...

    Rick Rucker once posted a link to a utility that adds toolbar buttons to automate this, but I haven't tried it myself.

    Customizing the cookie settings for each zone (I think I've listed ALL my restricted zone settings in a thread on Outlook security, since Outlook can be set to apply Restricted zone settings to messages, but I'm not sure...), you visit:

    Tools | Internet Options... | Security tab | [click zone icon] | Custom Level...

    I recommend the attached. As you'll see, I'm lenient with Session cookies in the Internet zone so that ASP-based sites will work. Even if they know I've been there for an hour, with a session cookie, they won't know I was there yesterday.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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