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Spysweeper update includes more than what I want

  • 29 February 2012
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Greetings - I've used Spysweeper WITHOUT Antivirus for several years. For antivirus protection I use a different product. I do NOT like or want to use one program for all my security ! I believe in the old proverbial phrase, "Don't keep all your eggs in one basket".
 
Today, Spysweeper checked for updates and it said an update was available, so I accepted it. BAD IDEA, because now Webroot Spysweeper INCLUDES antivirus protection (SecureAnywhere). It is not a good idea to have multiple antivirus products running on the same PC. I removed Webroot and reinstalled Spysweeper. Unfortunately the antivirus part is included. HOW do I get JUST Spysweeper Antispyware WITHOUT the antivirus protection of SecureAnywhere? (Or do I have to forget about using Webroot's Spysweeper in the future entirely?)
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Best answer by Kit 28 April 2012, 20:45

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Hello hkguy,
 
Reverting to a previous image would also revert your security definitions and protection to a previous date.  Since there are literally thousands of these threats released daily, your system and data would be at an increased level of risk.
 
If reverting occurs, you would then have to check for updates manually to ensure your software has the most current definition.  What is the update you would receive? Webroot SecureAnywhere.
 
This brings us to a major advantage of Webroot SecureAnywhere, the cloud based definition system.  Because this is held in the cloud and off of your PC, you always have the most current version and are not required to download definition updates.  Therefore, as soon as a file has been marked malicious, SecureAnywhere is instantly alerted of this change and adapts to the ever changing environment.
 
Thanks,
 
Josh C
 
 
Userlevel 7
@hkguy
 
One of the things to remember in this day and age is that computer security is rarely a static produc", like a program that you download, but rather a service.  If you take into account that even without "upgrading to SecureAnywhere", your SpySweeper installation undergoes nearly daily updates and upgrades, you can see where this comes into play.  That is also why security is a subscription, rather than a software purchase.  Without the services, updates, and support provided by the security company (ANY security company), the program itself is useless.
 
In the case of SecureAnywhere, we at Webroot made the decision to change the manner by which we are providing the security service.  Keeping in mind that we wanted our existing subscribers to have the option to continue with service, SecureAnywhere was designed to provide superior protection and still fit into the same space as our Antivirus products and also our SpySweeper product. 
 
In general, by purchasing a subscription to SpySweeper, you are buying Webroot's service to protect your computer against threats.  SpySweeper specifically counts as "We will watch for Spyware and keep out of the way of other Antivirus products."  SecureAnywhere just changes the delivery of this service in a manner that works better for you, takes less of your time and gets in your way less.  It still watches for Spyware and keeps out of the way of other Antivirus products.  But it also watches for other malware and threats while stillstaying out of the way, takes up fewer computer resources, and works much more efficiently for you.
 
While I hate to put it this way, I guess in the long run it comes down to whether or not you trust us to do the right thing for you and protect your computer, even if this update is a major change in the methodology.
Josh and Kit,
 
Thank you for your considered responses.
 
Kit, your point regarding security as subscription is well taken, and I fully understand that the "purchase" of an application such as SpySweeper/SecurityAnywhere involves a paradigm apart from conventional software. Still, I expect some aspects of my purchase to support basic consumer rights. Should I elect to try your newer product, I should be able to revert to an earlier, pre-trial state in the event I am unsatisfied. This is all the more pertinent, I believe, in the case of a subscription, wherein the subscriber ought to be able to retrograde, if necessary, to enjoy the benefits of a paid term of service in the manner he/she prefers .
 
I am quite willing to take your new methodology out for a spin. Josh's admonition, however, that "Even performing a system restore or reverting to a previous image may not restore complete functionality to SpySweeper" pretty much makes the decision to try the upgrade experiment a no-brainer. Thanks, but no thanks.
 
I sincerely hope SpySweeper continues to provide me with some measure of protection through June 2013, when my subscription expires.
 
Userlevel 7
Please be cautious when speaking about "Consumer rights", since the rights a consumer gets are those given in the contract, whether it be a bill of sale or a service contract.  There are legal rights, of course, however changing the customer-facing endpoint of the security subscription does not violate those.  If it were a democracy, you're outvoted by several million folks who prefer the new system.  That doesn't mean that we expect to make everybody happy all of the time.  We have lost a few thousand customers and gained a few hundred thousand for every hundred we lost. 
 
From the technical standpoint:
SpySweeper is on end of life stage one with regards to support.  In the event that anybody has a technical issue with it, they will be assisted with removing any remnants of it and installing SecureAnywhere.  It will eventually go to final stage end of support life at which point it will no longer receive pattern updates either.  At that point, yes it will still block threats that it knew about contained in the patterns it has, but it will not be able to block anything newer.
 
Josh's information about a system restore is accurate, but not very detailed.  A system restore point is for the system, but does not cover installed third party software.  This means that going back to a restore point which contains the SpySweeper install will possibly only recover the system view of things, but not replace tertiary files, such as definitions.  As such, a system restore would not recover the software into a working state.
 
A system image is a full image of the hard drive.  While this will recover the software into what is technically an operational state related to the local computer, it will recover a snapshot from that point in time.  This means that any server interactions will be out of synch, and the definitions will not cover anything that was added since the snapshot was taken.  The server state being out of synch can also complicate the restoration of the definitions and other aspects of the software to the then-current state.  So it COULD work, but if it doesn't, it's up to you to handle it as you see fit, and we cannot provide any support or assistance other than to help remove the broken remnants and install the current agent.
 
Is it possible that SpySweeper will continue to have definition updates until that point? Yes.  Is it likely?  Not at all.
 
But please do keep in mind that this is not an "Upgrade Experiment".  This is the full update to the current end-user agent software which has been out for almost six months.  This is not a "Try it and see if you like it".  This is "This is the software agent we are using to provide the service you paid for.  As such, to continue to receive this service, the upgrade will be necessary."  This is not a beta.  This is not a drill.  Just like the analog to digital TV swap, this is for real, and not optional.  We provide 100% support and zero cost to you through the whole changeover.
 
We don't take away your ability to chose.  But, just like you don't have a choice to order a wedding cake at McDonald's, we do not give you certain choices with our service either.  The choices that you do have:  You may continue to use SpySweeper with no support other than definition updates while they last.  You may update to the SecureAnywhere endpoint to continue receiving the protection that you paid for and substantially more that you get for free.  Or you may discontinue using the service altogether with the understanding that our refund period is a 70-day from purchase period.  Most folks prefer the SecureAnywhere update.
 
Given that every single legitimate SpySweeper customer is being informed at every check-in from the product that they need to update to continue receiving the service, we do expect that the end of pattern support life will come sooner than later.
 
The technology is moving forward.  Dropping Webroot to move to anything else at all would simply be ending up with a worse deal for the change-out than by using the SecureAnywhere agent that you have already paid for.  That and every security provider does the same thing.
 
We absolutely hope that you'll stick around and move to SecureAnywhere smoothly, but we will not be able to support you if you decide to try not to.
All very clear. Thank you, Kit.
 
Here is a message I received from Webroot support...
 
 "Hello, Webroot’s latest product line, SecureAnywhere 2012, does not quarantine cookies. Cookies and their uses have evolved since their introduction. They are designed to provide a service many Internet users find beneficial, in which they deliver specific information to you, based on your preferences. For instance, if you make frequent purchases from an online store, you might see an advertisement for a sale at that store when browsing other pages. The latest browsers enable you to easily manage your own cookie settings. Browsers have cookie protections built in, and you can delete or even block cookies altogether, if you’re concerned about tracking. Each browser has slightly different instructions on how to set these configurations. To find out more, we recommend consulting the Help documentation available for your browser. Because of these changes in browser personalization, Webroot has changed how we handle cookies to better fit today’s Internet user needs. For too long, the security industry – including Webroot – has expected our customers to manage security products for themselves. Quarantining relatively harmless cookies and expecting you to know how to handle them was part of this burden. Just as Webroot SecureAnywhere no longer requires you to repeatedly download resource-intensive signature files, we’re no longer asking you to worry about non-malicious files like cookies. Regards, The Webroot Support Team"...
 
 THE BOTTOM-LINE IS WEBROOT HAS KILLED OFF THE ENTIRE SPYSWEEPER FUNCTIONALITY. Now each user in our company will have to manually access the browser on their PC or Laptop and setup their own spyware settings. I originally bought Webroot Spyweeper to address these issures. I do NOT need a second antivirus software app. I need a spysweeper app that can be used accross all of our computers...
 
 Since Webroot killed that product, BEFORE THE LICENSE EXPIRED, I request a full refund for all the licenses we bought.. The new update does NOT perform the same functionality I originally bought and paid for our company. Now we will have to investigate if there are any alternatives to preventing spyware on and individual and on an ENTERPRISE level.
Userlevel 7
Determining and taking action against Spy Cookies has always been considered an Added Bonus, since they are literally only text files that are presented to you by the server and then given back to the server when your browser.  Notably, years ago, cookies were used without recourse or policy by third parties to track across multiple domains via the use of third-party content loads.  Since then, laws have been passed and cookies may no longer be used in the manners they used to be used in.
 
As it sits now, deleting cookies as "Spy Cookies" can actually do more harm than good.  A tracking cookie contains a unique ID, basically saying that you are user 12345 effectively.  The only difference between a legal tracking cookie and a Do Not Track cookie is the way the server handles it.  When you opt out of tracking, you are still user 12345, but the server throws away the data.  However, if that ccookie is removed, you become a new user, such as 67890, and that opt out is lost, so they may start to track you again.  While there are still some people who are caught up in the panic over cookies, most intelligent users are educating themselves about the nature of cookies and how they work and understand when they do that cookies should not be removed by external programs under most circumstances. 
 
That being said, SpySweeper's main functionality has always been to detect and remove Spyware.  A cookie of any type is not and never has been Spyware.  To claim that the entire SpySweeper functionality has been killed of is akin to saying that your entire meal from a fast food restaurant has been destroyed because they changed to wrapping the burger in a paper wrapper instead of puting it in a cardboard box to help reduce the amount of trash in your trash can.  Were the burger not-present, nor the fries or drink, then you could rightfully claim the meal is destroyed.  In this case, SecureAnywhere still detects and removes Spyware, and as such is still providing the specific functionality that SpySweeper is intended to provide.
 
Since your intent is to prevent Spyware, SecureAnywhere will work perfectly well for that, and in fact better than its predecessor, SpySweeper, and better and faster than any competing product out there.  If your intent is to prevent Spy Cookies, then you are a few years too late, since they died several years ago, and you will want to catch up with current technology information.  The information technology world moves very fast these days, so being behind is understandable.  Even the most intelligent folks fall behind on some aspects as the tech progresses.  Being one of them, you certainly will have no trouble catching back up on the basic knowledge of Spyware and Cookies.
 
If you wish to request a refund, please contact the appropriate department directly via the Support Ticket system or Enterprise support if you are an enterprise customer so that we have access to information regarding your account.  Refunds are always granted or denied based on business standards and policies, so I cannot say what the end result will be.  However please do keep in mind that SecureAnywhere does definitely continue to protect against Spyware and no longer damages cookies, since they don't work they way they did years ago.
...just like you don't have a choice to order a wedding cake at McDonald's, we do not give you certain choices with our service either.
 
To claim that the entire SpySweeper functionality has been killed of is akin to saying that your entire meal from a fast food restaurant has been destroyed because they changed to wrapping the burger in a paper wrapper instead of puting it in a cardboard box...
 
Lay off the fast food, Kit. That stuff will kill ya.
 
Let me give the fast food analogy a shot:
 
I plunk my money down for a breakfast sandwich. The order taker takes my money then serves me a burger. I complain because I thought I was buying a breakfast sandwich. "Sorry, it's after 11:30AM, and our food production has changed over to burgers," explains the server. "It has the same nutritional value as a breakfast sandwich, and you're actually getting a better value. Try it. You'll like it."

My choice at that point is take the burger or take the refund.
 
I get it.
 
I'm still thinking about it.
 
Userlevel 7
*Chuckles* Tough to think of appropriate similies when dealing with a sinus infection.  Probably ironic in some way since I have absolutely no appetite because of it.
 
Anyway, from a different point of view and not fast food...
 
You pay a security company to send a guard out to protect your property.  They send John, and John does his job protecting your property.  Some time later, a new security guard shows up, so you call the security company.  "That's Kirk.  He has better qualifications than John and works more efficiently and more out of your way."  The service is to protect your property, and it's still being done.  Sure, it's hard to get used to not having John around, but the service is still being provided and Kirk does a really good job.
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@ wrote:
*Chuckles* Tough to think of appropriate similies when dealing with a sinus infection.  Probably ironic in some way since I have absolutely no appetite because of it.
 
Anyway, from a different point of view and not fast food...
 
You pay a security company to send a guard out to protect your property.  They send John, and John does his job protecting your property.  Some time later, a new security guard shows up, so you call the security company.  "That's Kirk.  He has better qualifications than John and works more efficiently and more out of your way."  The service is to protect your property, and it's still being done.  Sure, it's hard to get used to not having John around, but the service is still being provided and Kirk does a really good job.
I would have to say Kirk is doing a superior job and lets keep him! 😉 As a user myself IMO it's best to upgrade to WSA from Spysweeper because it's a Full Anti-Malware that  runs with other AV's if need be simple to use and very light on systems resources compared to Spysweeper!
 
TH
Turns out you can order a wedding cake at McDonald's:
 
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2055444,00.html
 
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
Turns out you can order a wedding cake at McDonald's:
 
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2055444,00.html
 

Ahem...
 
"A cake is a pyramid of green apple-pie cartons."
 
Does that really count? 😉
 
 
 
WSA "might" be the cats pajamas, but killing off vanilla spysweeper is a mistake. The last two laptops i have seen upgraded to WSA became raging doorstops and could only be resurected from a Zombie existance by complete  removal of webroot.  I would have prefered that we the user had the option to stay or return to "vanilla" Spysweeper.  I have been recommending Spysweeper to my clients for years but that may have to stop now. 
 
Living in the very rural desert south west, not everyone has access to high speed internet, many folks here are still on dialup access providers so anything "web based" is usally a problem
 
Sorry but local experience will have to outweigh salesmans promises for now.  I wish we were not being left behind by the discontinuation of  vanilla Spysweeper but i think when it goes away or as subscriptions run out, If nothing changes to improve the situation as I see it, I think i'll be moving my clients to a subscription to Malwarebytes - AntiMalware.:mansad:
 
Its been a good ride till now..
Vince
 
P.S.  I'll never understand this facination with "the Cloud".. Sure every cloud has a silver lining, but silver tarnishes and its not a good idea to stand out in the rain..  I guess when everything is "Cloud based" I may, by necessity, become a Luddite 😞
Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
 
 
 
WSA "might" be the cats pajamas, but killing off vanilla spysweeper is a mistake. The last two laptops i have seen upgraded to WSA became raging doorstops and could only be resurected from a Zombie existance by complete  removal of webroot.  I would have prefered that we the user had the option to stay or return to "vanilla" Spysweeper.  I have been recommending Spysweeper to my clients for years but that may have to stop now. 
 
Living in the very rural desert south west, not everyone has access to high speed internet, many folks here are still on dialup access providers so anything "web based" is usally a problem
 
Sorry but local experience will have to outweigh salesmans promises for now.  I wish we were not being left behind by the discontinuation of  vanilla Spysweeper but i think when it goes away or as subscriptions run out, If nothing changes to improve the situation as I see it, I think i'll be moving my clients to a subscription to Malwarebytes - AntiMalware.:mansad:
 
Its been a good ride till now..
Vince
 
P.S.  I'll never understand this facination with "the Cloud".. Sure every cloud has a silver lining, but silver tarnishes and its not a good idea to stand out in the rain..  I guess when everything is "Cloud based" I may, by necessity, become a Luddite :(

 I'm very sorry to hear that.  I assume, hopefully correctly, that you contacted our support crew regarding the two laptops that have had trouble.  From the support standpoint, SecureAnywhere has been tremendously successful, reducing the volume of problems compared to SpySweeper by a tremendous amount, so those two laptops are outliers.  Two things that I can think of causing the symptoms you describe are pre-existing problems with the machines (which we see in about 3/10,000 installs and are constantly working to reduce the impact of) or not allowing the initial scan to complete (such as a person who hooks it up to the internet to install, gets impatient with the fact that the first scan will take about five minutes, and shuts it down.)
 
On the line of cloud stuff:
SpySweeper Install requires several tens of megabytes worth of definition downloads to install and may end up downloading 1-2MB worth of definitions per day, however can only do so if connected to the internet when it tries. If the dial up connection is not there for update attempts for too long, the definitions become out of date and need to do a full update instead of an incremental, plus there is little to no protection against anything that comes out while the definitions are not updating.  This same issue will apply to the Antivirus you have running with SpySweeper (you do have an AntiVirus running alongside SpySweeper, I hope, because SS itself is NOT a full Antivirus and will not catch anything but spyware.  If you don't, that can be the cause for the problems you are experiencing.  The AV program will also need to download its own however many megabytes of definition data.)
 
By comparison, SecureAnywhere uses 200-600k a day in cloud communication because it only needs to handle things that it sees, not everything that it could possibly see that is bad.  It also will hold onto this request data indefinitely without negative side effect if no network connection is available, though it is a good idea to connect at least once or twice a day.  The total network volume required per day is oftentimes a tenth or less of that compared to SpySweeper with other AV programs.
 
Considering my history is in support, when I can look at their reports and see a huge and constant decrease in problem issues despite a constant and steady increase in people using SecureAnywhere, I can tell you it's just plain impressive.  So anything turning PCs into Doorstops is completely away from the norm.
 
The only real downside is that it is important to "play by the rules", so to speak.  If the agent says "Don't cancel this scan!  It's a really bad idea!" then seriously, it really is a really, really bad idea. We won't stop you from doing it other than with that message, but then again there is nothing but a fence and a sign keeping a guy from going and harassing the two-ton bull in pasture, and that's a really, really bad idea too.
 
Even MBAM requires several megabytes of definition downloads on a regular basis to operate properly.  Is it better to say "Sorry, you have to have your dial up on and downloading this 3 MB update at 4k/s (that'll be over 12 minutes) when MBAM wants it to" versus two minutes of traffic?  "The Cloud" simply means that the servers on the company's side do the heavy lifting so that older computers or smaller network connections don't have to.
 
Please get in touch with us in the event you have any problems.  We're real people, based in the US (though we have support crew in Europe and Australia too), we really do answer the phone, and when there is a real issue, we actually fix it, even if it is something that goes to development.  And yes, we fix "small" problems too..  There is an out of date keyboard driver that was in use by a handful customers.  It caused keyboard problems when installed alongside us.  A small number of people out of millions using the agent is not that many, however the issue was fixed by our action within two weeks, even though it could be fixed by simply updating the keyboard drivers.
 
So let us know.  What you did, what happened that you didn't expect, or what didn't happen that you did expect.  You and your clients shouldn't be prevented from using SecureAnywhere just because of old technology on that side.  Like I said, all "The Cloud" means is that we see things everywhere in realtime and we do the heavy lifting for you.

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