Say no to DriveCleaner
Question : A pop-up ad told me to run a "DriveCleaner" program
to remove spyware left on my PC by adult Web sites. I
don't visit them, and I've never heard of this program,
so I declined the offer. Was that the right call?
Absolutely. The way this company chooses to present
itself to the world tells you everything you need to
know about it.
First, it markets itself in ads written to evade the
pop-up blocker built into every modern browser. That's
just plain rude -- and if a company won't respect your
obvious wish to not be interrupted by pop-up ads, it
will probably be a pest in other ways.
Second, the DriveCleaner Web site says next to
nothing about the company behind this program, not even
listing its street address. (No, I'm not going to
publish its Web address.) Real companies don't hide
their identities like that.
Third, run a Google search on "drivecleaner": The
first site listed is a page on Symantec's site, which
warns that this program "gives exaggerated reports of
security and privacy risks on a computer." It continues:
"The program then prompts the user to purchase a
registered version of the software in order to remove
the reported risks."
Trust your suspicions when it comes to pushy ads for
software or sites you've never heard of. You're much
safer adopting a policy of "guilty until proven