Stealth install of Webroot software

  • New Voice
  • 6 replies
About a month and a half ago I purchased a 1 year subscription for Prevx anti-malware software. This was installed along Trend Micro Titanium Security and Malwarebytes Anti-malware Pro. This computer is only used for finances and nothing else (I keep it updated and locked down pretty good). So let's just say I freaked out when I noticed some unknown software running on my laptop.

Lately I also noticed a little bit of slowdown during boot but didn't think much of it. Until this morning that is. I noticed a popup saying something about Webroot SecureAnywhere software running a scan. Webroot? I never purchased or installed your software. It appears Prevx was owned by Webroot and was recently integrated into Webroot software. That's all fine I don't care. Good for you I guess.
Do you guys have any idea how people react to some unknown software they never installed? The only people who do these creepy stealth installs are people writing malware hoping you'll stumble upon an infected website and infect your computer without even knowing. I have a problem with any company installing their software on my computer without any prompts or even a popup window. How hard is it to include a prompt asking if it's OK to update or not? I immediately uninstalled your software and requested a refund. What kind of company would do this crap? For the record after I removed your unwanted software my boot time has gone back to normal. Most likely because I already had Trend Micro software installed?
Am I the only only who thinks this is not OK? I paid for software and you removed it without asking me if that's OK or not? There is no way i would ever even consider using your products and now I'm off to post this as reviews for your software on Amazon and any other site I can.

38 replies

@DavidP wrote:
Great post Muddy.  I am not one of the old Prevx users, so I didn't have all that background.  Thank you for all the good information regarding the migration!
Have a look also at my comment on his Amazon Review of Webroot SecureAnywhere under the poster name Keith Mills. It was a first for me to make a comment on an Amazon review but his review was just so blatantly misleading that I couldn’t help myself. He accuses Webroot of “silently removing Prevx software”. This couldn’t be further from the truth!!
I accept, as he says in his post above, that he has a right to leave his review on the Internet but equally I, if I find he is saying something that is outrageously false, and is choosing to leave it there even when it has been patiently explained to him by numerous posters here why it is false, also have a right to counter his claims.
He also talks about having in the past uninstalled the old Webroot Spysweeper from other people’s computers because it was an “unbelievable…system hog” (although he says he can’t even be absolutely sure if it was Webroot Spysweeper!!). Now what he says may or may not be true. But his clear innuendo is that Webroot SecureAnywhere is likely to be similar. Nothing could be further from the truth!!
 He should read Joe’s (the chief programmer of Prevx3 and of Webroot SecureAnywhere) Q&A post that he submitted on the Wilders Security Forum back in June 2011 just after Webroot Secure Anywhere Beta had been released where he asks and answers:
Webroot/Prevx Antivirus Beta FAQs:
5. There were a lot of times it was said Prevx 4.0 would have 1/10th size and would use much less resources than the current 3.0 product. Does the same apply to SecureAnywhere Beta?

SecureAnywhere has been streamlined in every way possible and uses 1/10th of the RAM usage (as stated in the original post), a fraction of the CPU/disk utilization, and the installer, which requires no further software downloads, is 1/4th as large (compared to Prevx 3.0 which was 920KB for 32bit + 1030KB for 64bit = 1950KB total vs 478KB for both 32 and 64bit support in SecureAnywhere).
In fact, since the OP is so praiseworthy of Prevx 3 (and rightly so!), why doesn’t he go to the Wilders Security Prevx Beta Version Forum? These Wilders Security Beta testers would have been (and are) seasoned Prevx3 users, also the cream of Prevx3 users, all highly competent IT professionals unlike me. Why doesn’t he chronologically follow all the threads since the date the Webroot SecureAnywhere Beta Version was first released, starting at this page, and see what their reaction to Webroot SecureAnywhere Beta was?
The true story is that three years ago Mel Morris the founder and CEO of Prevx met Dick Williams the new CEO of Webroot and found that he had at last met a boss of a big IT security company that was a real kindred spirit, the first CEO of a major security company with whom he saw eye to eye. There were several blogs on this in written at the time by Mel Morris but unfortunately as far as I know they no longer exist (perhaps someone from Webroot could find them and resurrect them?). Dick Williams made the bold and courageous decision to purchase Prevx and replace all of Webroot’s old security programmes with Prevx4. The result is Webroot SecureAnywhere which, to those who have known Prevx from the early days, recognise as the final maturing of Prevx.
I do understand that it can be very traumatic to see a programme the OP respects and has recently installed suddenly seemingly being hijacked by a company he doesn’t trust, and without so much as a warning window asking for his permission. This is far from ideal to say the least. And I have already stated elsewhere that the way Prevx was transitioned to Webroot SecureAnywhere was IMHO not ideal from a PR point of view (although I also added it is extremely difficult to see how it could have been done otherwise—see my comment on Amazon and my previous post on this thread). But surely, having had reasonable explanations on this thread from ex-Prevx users explaining the true situation, he should move on and recognise that he has a wonderful programme that is, in effect, Prevx having finally reached maturity (as all us seasoned Prevx users very quickly recognised). Or if he just has something against Webroot and doesn't like the new user interface, quietly ditch it and stop moaning. But I fear the OP, in his stubbornness, will never understand this. Pity really :(
Sorry that I have ranted on somewhat about this, but I was so exasperated by the OP’s attitude that I just couldn’t help myself.
Userlevel 4
Interesting to note that if you look at his other Amazon reviews, we're graced with a ONE STAR WONDER! He seems love giving 1 star to anything that requires a modicom of thought. unhappy customer expressing his or her dissatisfaction, is not "slander", and that's a desperately infantile thing for a self-proclaimed 'expert' to say; you know it, I know it, everyone knows it.  It shows a decided lack of knowledge of the age old, and very wise, business philosophy, "the customer is always right".
While I don't know about anyone else, I'm certainly one customer who wasn't informed that PrevX was being taken over by Webroot, and I've been a PrevX customer since 2006, so it was an unhappy shock to see the sudden appearance of a most unattractive little icon sitting where the PrevX icon used to be.
Call me 'odd', but I value those businesses who are not only transparent in their business dealings, but who grant me the respect of allowing me to make my own informed choices before making changes for the sake of profit margins that could potentially affect me, 'just' an end user.
I don't like being tricked, conned, run roughshod over, or otherwise forced into dealing with a business I know nothing about. 
But then again, I'm odd like that.
Userlevel 7
@ wrote: unhappy customer expressing his or her dissatisfaction, is not "slander" 
surely not but what makes the difference is the manner of presentation of dissatisfaction, even dissatisfaction can be presented politely ... as for the business habits you mentioned I fully agree with you and believe or not I am well accustomed to them ... I have a top managerial position in a company with cca 16 mil. USD turnover a year

peace :D
@ wrote:
@ wrote: unhappy customer expressing his or her dissatisfaction, is not "slander" 
surely not but what makes the difference is the manner of presentation of dissatisfaction, even dissatisfaction can be presented politely ... as for the business habits you mentioned I fully agree with you and believe or not I am well accustomed to them ... I have a top managerial position in a company with cca 16 mil. USD turnover a year

peace :D
In whatever vocal form a customers chooses to express their dissatisfaction, it's a fact of business life, not a legal issue of slander, as you accused the OP of having done.
Be that as it may, I'm glad you agree on what should be (but increasingly isn't) a basic business attitude; the financial turnover of a company, however, is far less impressive to customers than the effort put into it's customer service base.  
Customers are, after all, the ones coughing up the money that enables a company's financial turnover 'bragging rights' to begin with.
Userlevel 1
@ wrote:
In whatever vocal form a customers chooses to express their dissatisfaction, it's a fact of business life, not a legal issue of slander, as you accused the OP of having done.
While I would agree that the OP is not in jeopardy of legal action, Pegas only stated that the OP was "bordering" on slander, to which I agree.
You're right that expressing dissatisfaction is a customer's right... but the OP went so far as to state that Webroot is a "shady company" and hoped that Google will somehow read this thread and take some measures against Webroot. The "shady" description clearly presumes negative and unethical motives which is simply unwarranted.
Is this type of complaint a fact of doing business? Yes. Does that make it right? Not in my opinion.
People can criticize WR for automatically updating PrevX customers. Perhaps it wasn't the best move. Perhaps it could have been communicated better... but at no time do we see any evidence that WR was trying to con him. Nor did they refuse to help him or refund him.
Perhaps I'm just fortunate enough to live in a country that  isn't quite as uptight and litigious-minded about such things.  I do empathize with OP, though - an apology after the fact, when it was known well in advance that 'the fact' was going to occur anyway, isn't kosher business practice.
It does smack of 'shady' (from an outsider's POV), as though Webroot feared losing a big chuck of customer base if PrevX customers were advised in advance. While I don't think that necessarily would have happened, customers do appreciate honesty, and the decent thing to do would have been giving them a heads up in advance...but it's really a pointless argument now - water under the bridge, and all that.
In any event, I've now experienced Webroot hard at work on my pc, and I'm very happy with the product.
Userlevel 1
In my mind, it has nothing to do with being uptight or litigious-minded and all about just trying to understand the situation with a clear mind.

We certainly could argue this ad infinitum (and it has on this thread). The only questionable move I see is perhaps making it clear that the name of the product changed. I would be more upset if a company DID NOT upgrade my protection simply because the product changed ownership and names but was waiting for an explicit agreement from me, especially since I'm licensed for that protection.

I do understand the shock of seeing a different and unrecognized brand name suddenly pop-up in my taskbar. To that end, I would agree that perhaps better communications would have been in order. But to conclude "shady" motives for updating the same product rebranded under different name is simply unfair to the company. Bad judgment? Maybe. Bad motives? I don't think that's fair to conclude when help was provided, an explanation given, and a refund granted.
Userlevel 3
Badge +13
I have been a PrevX user for several years, and I must say that I could not agree more with the OP. I know this thread is over a month old, but I know of 3 former PrevX users who now refuse to use webroot after the method webroot updated/upgraded their computers without any prompting, without any notification whatsoever. I felt the same way when I suddently noticed webroot running on my pc. I freaked out, unnistalled, installed malwarebytes, checked, rechecked, then began searching online for what had happened. One of my other pc's never did upgrade to webroot until I finally upgarded myself.
 As a PrevX customer, I must say I felt violated when this upgrade occured, solely based on how the upgrade took place. It seemed like a big scam, since it automatically erased prevx, and installed itself without asking my permission, or even telling me what was happening.
 Most legit companies would not upgrade in this manner. I've no idea how many customers webroot/prevx lost while doing this upgrade, but I know of 3, the OP makes 4, so I really think webroot should rethink how they handle upgrades/name changes in the future, as their lack of communication with their customers has obviously cost them many once happy customers.
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Hi quick and Welcome to the Webroot Community Forums.
I feel for you I have been using Prevx since 2004 and I knew the change was coming since 2010 from the Official Prevx Forum and Webroot SecureAnywhere is the same but much, much more improved since Prevx 3 and Webroot is a great Security software company I just feel that you will lose out on the best product around and if you look throughout the forums you don't see complaints of users getting infected it's still light on resources and still scans fast just like Prevx did and most of the Prevx Team has been retained and working for Webroot now. I'm really sorry to see a user of Prevx drop it because it says Webroot.
With Regrets,
Daniel 😞
Userlevel 3
Badge +13
Hi Daniel,
 Thanks fo ryour warm welcome to the community. I love webroot! Have been very happy with prevx, and now webroot, for years. Never had any infections since installing, and hope to remain a customer for many years to come. I reinstalled webroot that very evening once I realized it was the same company. Just saying, I know of 3 friends who chose to not reinstall after this happened on their pc's. I would imagine this same scenario played out many times as webroot automatically updated without notifying anyone. I never received an email, popup, or any other notification; just bam, one minute I'm running prevx, the next webroot is installing itself on my machine. That was very scary at that moment.
Userlevel 7
Badge +56
Well that end I don`t know much about but I did get my email notification even thought I had WSA installed since very early 2011 I know some that there spam filter (folder) caught it and didn't see them. But I do hope your friends will come back to WSA there are some big improvements coming for the 2014 product line and the support is great if not even better than Prevx as there`s more staff and all the Business and Mobile Security Applications and a Great Community here.

Userlevel 7
Hello and welcome to the Community where everyday is a new learning experience.:)

WSA is faster, lighter and stronger. Simply better than PrevX. Moreover PrevX team is now working with Webroot. ;)

Best Wishes,