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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Spyware Warrior

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Those who have followed the development of this page since 2004 will have noted that the list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products has not been updated since May 2007. Unfortunately, other time commitments have precluded our efforts to keep that list up to date. Since the last update dozens of "new" rogue anti-spyware programs have hit the 'Net. The vast majority of them, however, are not really new, but are simply re-branded clones and knockoffs of the same rogue applications that have been around from years. In most cases, they are being pushed through the same deceptive practices by the same parties responsible for earlier versions. See in particular these "families" of anti-spyware products, which continue to live on through shameless re-branding: 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, & 23.

If you are looking for information on the most recent rogue anti-spyware applications, we recomend visiting these sites:

"Rogue/Suspect" means that these products are of unknown, questionable, or dubious value as anti-spyware protection.
Some of the products listed on this page simply do not provide proven, reliable anti-spyware protection or may be prone to ridiculous false positives. Others may use unfair, deceptive, high pressure sales tactics to scare up sales from gullible, confused users. A very few of these products are either associated with known distributors of spyware/adware or have been known to install spyware/adware themselves. Not all products exhibit the same problems, however. Please see this "note to readers" for more information.
Users are advised to rely on the short list of Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products with deserved reputations for quality performance.

Criteria & Testing
Criteria that we use to classify anti-spyware programs as "rogue / suspect" are discussed below in the Listing Criteria section.

Testing was performed with most of the apps listed below, though not all of them. The notes section below contains definitions and descriptions of some of the key terms used in the comments for the applications listed. Be sure to consult the Anti-Spyware Family Resemblances and Orphans & Outcasts companion pages for more information on the applications listed.

De-Listed Applications
Some applications that were originally included in this list of "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware programs have been de-listed after the vendors for those programs took steps to correct the problems identified on this page. For each program that has been de-listed there is a note explaining the circumstances at the bottom of the main "rogue/suspect" list. For more information on the process of de-listing application, see THIS discussion below.
before contacting us about programs not included on the main list below, please check the list of lesser-known anti-spyware applications that we have tested as well as the list of legitimate, licensed clones of other anti-spyware programs.

More Information
For additional information on "rogue/suspect" anti-spyware products, see the More Information section towards the bottom of the page. Suzi has put together a "Top 10 Rogue Anti-Spyware" list HERE.
For reports on more extensive testing with a select group of anti-spyware utilities, see HERE. A short list of anti-spyware applications that are recommended as useful and trustworthy can be found on the list of Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products below. An extended list of quality anti-spyware products is HERE.

If your PC is already infested with spyware or adware, see the instructions below for getting help.

See also: Anti-Spyware Family Resemblances
Anti-Spyware Orphans & Outcasts
Anti-Spyware Programs: Feature Comparison
Anti-Spyware Tests (by Eric L. Howes)
Protecting Your Privacy & Security on a Home PC
Ben Edelman - Spyware Research

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