Nothing of SpywareBlaster's features require that it be running at all
except when you want to implement its "protections". It adds kill bit
entries to the registry to disable ActiveX controls. It adds domains to
the Restricted Sites security zone to neuter them. It can add domains
to IE's BLOCK cookie list to block cookies from those sites. All those
changes are static: you deploy the changes and that's it, so you don't
need a program always running in the background sucking up CPU cycles.
If you want SpywareBlaster to periodically automatically download
updates and apply them per your configuration settings in
SpywareBlaster, go for it - and PAY for it. AutoUpdate requires a
subscription ($9.95/year). However, that only have SpywareBlaster
periodically check for updates and then apply any that are new to an
update but that still doesn't have SpywareBlaster constantly running in
the background since all the effects it deployed are configurations
handled by other programs, like IE.
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E-mail reply: Remove "NIXTHIS" and add "#VS811" to Subject.
Right, feeling really idiotic at the moment ;-) Have it for a few month now,
but i had this silly notion it wasn't doing it's job right, so i checked the
help file were it says under "enabling protection"
1.) Open SpywareBlaster
2.) Click on the "Enable All Protection" link under Quick Tasks on the main
3.) Exit the program - you're done!
SpywareBlaster does not need to remain open for its protection to be active!
The last sentence kind of made be believe it could be that it had to be
opened every time, meaning loaded. Perhpas as i'm not native english speaker
it didn't seem quite clear. And the fact i don't know jack about how
software really works didn't help either, obviuosly.
Thanks for clarifying that
The author of SpywareBlaster has become a bit, um, "unclear" (and almost
misleading) regarding what his product does to prevent use of ActiveX
controls. "Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware,
browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted pests." Hmm,
not exactly correct. The product only adds kill bits to registry
entries. This blocks an ActiveX component from being called (i.e., it
can't load) within Internet Explorer. Read
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=240797. You are disabling the AX
control, if present, from being called within a function -- but only
within IE. You are not preventing its files from showing up or
remaining on your disk. You are not eradicating it. You are not doing
anything other than prevent its use, if present, within IE.
SpywareBlaster does NOT prevent AX controls from being downloaded or
stored onto your hard drive. You can copy the files onto your hard
drive without any interferrence until you try to actually use them. It
does not prevent them from being installed (i.e., copy the files onto
your hard drive) but it will cause an error when the installation tries
to register that AX control. It doesn't eradicate the "bad" ActiveX
controls that are already on your hard drive or keep you from
downloading more of them, but it does neuter them during install by
blocking their registration and blocking them later from being used.
The author used to be more clear in his prior statements of how
SpywareBlaster works but he seems to have become more lax in his later
description. Just because you use SpywareBlaster to neuter a "bad" AX
control doesn't mean that your anti-spyware and anti-malware scanners
won't notice the files for that AX control sitting on your hard drive.
It's like trapping roaches under bottles for any that are already around
or show up later but leaving them to scurry around inside their bottles
but never get anywhere: their effect is void but they are still there.
SpywareBlaster doesn't eradicate anything nor does it detect anything.
It just "disables if present" but that is still a very useful function
since it is possible that the spyware or malware got past your scanners,
many of which are executed manually.
That is because SpywareBlaster will add that domain to the list of
blocked cookie domains maintained in a registry entry that Internet
Explorer will read. SpywareBlaster doesn't even have to be on your
computer anymore after it edited this registry list. You don't even
need SpywareBlaster to add those domains to block cookies since you
could manually update that list yourself under Internet Options ->
Privacy -> Sites. You are simply allocating that decision to someone
else (i.e., SpywareBlaster) as to what are good and bad domains for
cookie files. This is very similar to letting IE-SpyAd or
SpywareBlaster decide which are "bad" sites and should be added to the
Restricted Sites security zone (which is another static registry list).
All you are doing is updating a static list of domains and setting a bit
that says if they are allowed or blocked to create cookies. That does
not require a program to be running in the background. It just requires
IE to read the registry where is the static list of those domains.
SpywareBlaster updates the following registry key (by adding subkeys
that specify the domains along with a value in which a bit determines if
they are allowed or blocked from creating .txt files used as cookies):
There are much better ways to manage cookies (to get rid of the "bad"
ones) than to add a huge list of domains to block in a static list in
the registry. Rather than let someone else decide what all domains are
bad for you, whitelist the ones that you want to keep and kill all the
rest. I use PopUpCop which has cookie management besides popup control.
I can blacklist domains that I always want to block them from creating
cookie files. However, more useful is its whitelisting feature for
cookies. There are far fewer domains where I allow cookies (so the list
is much shorter) than all the rest of the domains that I would block
their cookies. This does NOT prevent the cookie file from getting
created. Some web sites demand that you let them create their cookie
file for that web site to function. Okay, so I let them create their
cookie. It might even be defined to be a permanent cookie with some
expiration set way off into the future. However, since their domain is
not in my cookie whitelist, their cookie file gets deleted when I exit
the last instance of Internet Explorer. Poof, gone.
Non-whitelisted cookies are forced to be per-session cookies.
Per-session cookies get purged when the browser is closed. I don't need
some huge list of domains to block their bad cookies. I don't need
someone else deciding which ones are bad. I don't end up with a web
site that won't function because it demands the use of its cookie file
that would get blocked by being blacklisted (i.e., blocked). I maintain
a short list of good domains that are allowed to save their cookies on
my computer (i.e., the cookie whitelist) and all the rest get zapped
when I exit IE. There are cookie managers that also do a similar
whitelisting (and blacklisting) function, like CookieWall, but they run
in the background all the time and suck up memory all the time. The
only time you have to manage cookies is when you are in your browser,
and that's the only time that PopUpCop loads. Unfortunately, PopUpCop
is a COM add-in that only works with IE. I suspect Firefox has better
cookie management than IE. If not then use a cookie manager. It's is a
bit ridiculous to maintain and update a list of hundreds of bad cookie
domains when you really only want to keep cookies from half a dozen good
Ya, that is what I was saying. I was simply giving the OP a way to test
the product if he/she so desires.