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  1. #1
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Cool Beware! FREE is not always good

    I get an offer every day, from "Giveaway of the day".
    Over the past few years, I've gotten some pretty neat FREE software from them.
    But all that glitters is NOT GOLD.

    Today's offer was a "Core Tuner" from 'Ashampoo'. The Free part is a ten day trial. To get a FREE for life PRO version, you must register, giving your name, email address, etc. (now, they got ya!)
    Well, the bottom line is, that through the whole experience, Ashampoo stole my home page, installed BING as my default search engine, added an Ashampoo tool bar, and who knows what else.

    As soon as I found all this BS, I did an immediate 'System Restore' back to when I first booted up my PC this afternoon, when I got back from town. Whew! That was close!

    Watch out, what you accept for FREE! It just may be a "Trojan Horse".

    After all this, it came back to me, that years ago, I installed something from "Ashampoo" that really screwed up my PC. I wound up doing a Ghost Restore to get rid of it that time.

    If you use any Ashampoo product and like it, please do not respond to this post. Eh?

    Be Careful and be SAFE!
    TechnoMage
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Medico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    I had a similar experience with the AVG checker that Cat mentioned the other day. I realize you use AVG AV, but the web checker installed a toolbar and search engine on my browsers, both of which I did not want. I already use Web Of Trust for a similar purpose, so I uninstalled this checker. I'm also willing to try new things, but I do not want unexpected items installing without my knowledge.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    Are you positive, that the "Checker" was actually from AVG?
    I ask because, I've been using AVG almost as long as they've been around and I've never heard of that app.

    I wonder if that's not a Trojan Horse?

    When you install AVG, ABC, PDQ, XYZ or any other program, you must carefully read every line, of every window that pops up, for added things that you probably don't and won't want. Take only the basic program that you're after and UN-Check everything else. OK?

    Some people, just out of ignorance, never un-check anything, and wind up with home-page Hi-Jacks, BHO's, and tool bars up the ying-yang.

    I did a whole NEW thread today, on that very subject.

    You don't have to be paranoid to know that THEY really are out to get you.

    TechnoMage
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  5. #4
    Senior Member Medico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    I'll see if I can find the post ( I always seem to have problems finding something when I really want to but I'll look for it)

    OK, It's called the AVG Link Scanner (Download link is from Major Geeks) I'm usually pretty careful about unchecking things that I don't want but I must have missed these. Oh well, this just shows even those of us that are very careful can find things that we don't expect.

    Something weird happened tonight and I had to restore from an Image for my Win 8 CP. It was a little older than I like (did not follow my own advice) so I created a new Image after updating and restoring everything to just before whatever happened. Don't know what it was, a couple of strange things. After all, this is a beta with unexpected results on occasion. New Image in place, back on line, typing away.

  6. #5
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    OK,,,,,, "Link Scanner" is an integral part of AVG Pro. That's the same program that saved my little pink arse just last week.
    I do remember a post regarding downloading that as a separate program. I wouldn't.
    Integrated with AVG Pro, it works GREAT!

    I just BOUGHT another six year license, for AVG 2012 Internet Security.
    Just to back it up, like I've done for years, I install "Spybot Search & Destroy" and "Spyware Blaster".
    But a warning, if Spybot S&D is not set up properly, it will NEVER work properly. I spent several years, developing my "Setup" for Spybot S&D, then I typed it up and put it on my web page, for those smart enough to use it. It's a full page, of detailed setup instructions. Once set up properly, it's unbeatable in the Anti-Spyware detection and removal industry.

    I used one of its apps today, to take out a BHO, implanted by the "Ashampoo Core Tuner" program. There is a lot more to Spybot S&D than meets the eye. But, you absolutely MUST, update, immunize and SCAN with Spybot S&D every week, on Wednesday, when they post their updates. Or, you shouldn't waste time and space installing it in the first place. That may sound harsh, but I do speak the truth.

    I have found Spybot S&D on peoples computers, that's been there for over a year, with NO updates, NO immunizations ever being done and NO scans ever being run. What a total WASTE!
    Like a $200,000 Ferrari setting in a garage and never being driven, but just rotting away.

    Obviously, I need another beer!



    Techno(hic)Mage
    Last edited by TechnoMage; 05-01-2012 at 05:03 PM.
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  7. #6
    Senior Member Medico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    OK, where's mine??

  8. #7
    Senior Member TechnoMage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    WELL, I called you, but when you didn't show up, I drank it!
    You snooze, you loose!

    We dedicated Beer Drinkers don't mess around.



    EDIT:
    I had a similar experience with the AVG checker that Cat mentioned the other day. I realize you use AVG AV, but the web checker installed a toolbar and search engine on my browsers, both of which I did not want.
    Read my previous post! You blindly went through the install, clicking OK, OK, OK, without ever reading what you were OK'ing. YOU MUST READ EVERY WORD of EVERY window that comes up during the install, and then, UN-CHECK all that crapola that you don't want.

    "Give'em books and Give'em books and they just eat the pages!" (author unknown)

    I'm dry. Would someone please hand me another beer?
    Last edited by TechnoMage; 05-01-2012 at 05:19 PM.
    A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.
    Backup! Backup! Backup! Ghost rocks!

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    You mean you done drank them all? I used to be a dedicated one myself, but it doesn't mix well with narcotic pain meds that I take around the clock. Plus, I'm tested for substances once a year. Alcohol, though legal, goes against the contract signed by patient & doctor when opiates are prescribed.

    But that Link Scanner does good for me, on XP Mode. I use it, along with MSE 4, as extra protection. But I declined the toolbar & homepage swap. BTW, the version of IE8 that's for XP includes an AVG Safe Search box, so their products must be good.

    I don't know all of the reasons, but many users have reported that AVG & Windows 7 doesn't make for a happy marriage. Two main complaints are system resource usage & BSOD's. My only experience with AVG was on XP/2000, wasn't bad, then I discovered Avast, & really never looked back.

    Cat

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoMage View Post
    OK,,,,,, "Link Scanner" is an integral part of AVG Pro. That's the same program that saved my little pink arse just last week.
    I do remember a post regarding downloading that as a separate program. I wouldn't.
    Integrated with AVG Pro, it works GREAT!

    I just BOUGHT another six year license, for AVG 2012 Internet Security.
    Just to back it up, like I've done for years, I install "Spybot Search & Destroy" and "Spyware Blaster".
    But a warning, if Spybot S&D is not set up properly, it will NEVER work properly. I spent several years, developing my "Setup" for Spybot S&D, then I typed it up and put it on my web page, for those smart enough to use it. It's a full page, of detailed setup instructions. Once set up properly, it's unbeatable in the Anti-Spyware detection and removal industry.

    I used one of its apps today, to take out a BHO, implanted by the "Ashampoo Core Tuner" program. There is a lot more to Spybot S&D than meets the eye. But, you absolutely MUST, update, immunize and SCAN with Spybot S&D every week, on Wednesday, when they post their updates. Or, you shouldn't waste time and space installing it in the first place. That may sound harsh, but I do speak the truth.

    I have found Spybot S&D on peoples computers, that's been there for over a year, with NO updates, NO immunizations ever being done and NO scans ever being run. What a total WASTE!
    Like a $200,000 Ferrari setting in a garage and never being driven, but just rotting away.

    Obviously, I need another beer!



    Techno(hic)Mage
    TM, how about giving me the link to that Spybot S&D setup page?

    I want to see how it stacks up against SuperAntiSpyware. BTW, I got that same offer on GOTD today. Too many nays vs yeas for my liking.

    The only piece of good software that I ever got from that site was Todo Pro Backup 3.5 a year ago.

    Cat
    Last edited by catilley1092; 05-01-2012 at 09:59 PM.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Beware! FREE is not always good

    I know AVG is frequently mentioned as the problem in crash dump analysis. I had an annoying problem and their forum was of no help. I was slipstreaming XP then so I had a standalone copy of SP1 and if the mouse hit that file or row it froze for several min. I tried it on 2 actual PCs and VirtualBox and MS VM of the time. It happened on all 4. I switched to Avast a few times I have had a false positive and submitted it it was fixed in a day or two.
    Joe

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