Question about privacy when running malware

debo_2006March 1, 2014

I use Antispyware and Malwarebytes on my laptop. While running, I usually update the definitions then run the programs while I'm connected to the Internet so I can continue to search stuff as the spyware runs. Question is, since I'm connected to the Internet as the program(s) run (one at a time), is my personal info safe. In other words, can the program owners get to my passwords and other private info?


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If you're asking if there's a risk in running legitimate programs, the answer is no.

There is risk when running rogue software or unauthorized and uninvited software from sketchy or downright criminal sources. If you visit only mainstream websites, use a security/antivirus system that provides real time protection and blocks downloads, and if you limit your program downloads and installations to just programs from known and legit sources, you'll have no problems.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:32PM
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No, that is not what I'm asking.

As stated, the legit programs I have downloaded are spyware are mentioned in OP. While running Antispyware or Malwarebytes, or whatever spyware, is it safe to be on-line (connected to the Internet) when such a program is running/finding spyware? Generally, I like to do research while I run a spyware program and don't know if the owner of that program can get any of my personal info off my the spyware checks my entire C drive where some personal info is stored.

I hope that makes things clearer.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 4:31PM
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Antispyware, malwarebytes - those are the good guys, they look for bad guys and remove them

Spyware - that's the bad guys

Is there any problem with the good guys, these mentioned here or other legitimate programs from legitimate sources? - No, as I suggested before.

Did I miss your question? Do you really mean to say that you run spyware programs?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

Debi, when you say you use "Antispyware", do you mean SUPERAntiSpyware? I assume you do, but sometimes assuming can be dangerous.

I ask because there's an online scanner at that should probably be avoided. WOT rating of

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:28PM
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Yes, I mean SuperAntispyware (the malware program).

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 10:04PM
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If you are using legitimate programs like Superantispyware, when these programs run they are looking for signatures particular to malware; they are not rummaging through your hard drive looking to steal your passwords.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 5:18AM
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Thanks Kudzu9. Thanks for the short explanation on how it works (looking for signatures particular to malware) and answering my exact question.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:01AM
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You're welcome. It was a question I never thought about before because I only use anti-malware programs that I know for sure have a good reputation so I didn't think twice about letting them loose on my machine. But the issue you were concerned about -- and worse -- could happen if one downloaded a fake anti-malware program, like those that throw up a warning screen claiming to have found all kinds of infections on your machine when you visit a compromised web site. Since they often seem legitimate, or even claim to be part of Windows, people get fooled. As long as you stick with the legitimate ones and download them from reliable web sites, you'll be fine...they're trustworthy. One added precaution: whenever I initially download even a trusted piece of software I always save it and run a scan on it before I run it.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Of course it is safe to be online! it is not a good idea to have more then one good one like malewarebytes installed on any PC. One good Av and one good maleware is enough. Anymore is over kill and often conflict.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 10:08AM
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I respectfully beg to differ about anti-malware software. I have two main programs that I use, and I have found that one program does not always detect everything. I have had several situations where I ran scans and one detected malware that the other had not. I agree that one should not have more than one antivirus running on one's computer, but having more than one anti-malware program installed, and running them sequentially on an as-needed basis, causes no problem or conflict.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 2:28PM
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What is it that you're using, what is it that's being missed?

Sometimes it's a definitional thing. Something that may be unwanted (like a third party cookie) isn't necessarily a risk that needs to be detected.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 4:30PM
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Then the one you chose is simply not good enough!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:36AM
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Believe what you want...but that's an unsupportable statement.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:51PM
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As in K9's experience, I too have had a couple episodes on systems where SAS or MWB has found something the other has missed. What they were exactly I do not recall, but they weren't something as minimal as cookies and not important enough to write down and save.

I personally have had up to three malware detection applications installed on my system besides the AV. Currently I have the aforementioned two.

Of course, except for the AV nothing is configured for real-time, and only one scan is conducted at a time. Not to do it that way would definitely invite conflicts.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 6:50PM
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