Ditching Anti-Beacon for ShutUp10

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by funkydude, May 29, 2016.

  1. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    Prior to upgrading to Windows 10 I looked into the various "anti spy" tools that were common place. It seemed the 2 main programs people chose to use were "O&O ShutUp10" and "Spybot Anti-Beacon".

    Being unfamiliar with the O&O brand I decided that going with Spybot Anti-Beacon, the brand that was familiar to me, would be the best choice. I was wrong.

    I recently discovered that the makers of Anti-Beacon, in all their infinite wisdom, decided to throw domains into the "HOSTS" file, seemingly at random. After trying to access ad.doubleclick.net, and attempting to resolve why it was not working for me, I realised it was because Anti-Beacon decided to block it via "HOSTS". To those unfamiliar with doubleclick, it is an advertising company owned by... Google, yes, not Microsoft. So one has to wonder why it is in a blocklist designed (and advertised) as blocking Microsoft telemetry. Good Question.

    Browsing the HOSTS file further I see even more idiotic entries, such as a Skype domain, being blocked. The impression I get from reading this is that the program authors saw some system communication, didn't have a clue whatsoever what it was, and thus decided to block it. How professional.

    I then installed ShutUp10 just to look at the options, and quickly realised it had the ability to block even more than Anti-Beacon does. Basically, Anti-Beacon does not offer full protection.

    Before changing anything in ShutUp10 I decided I would undo all changes in Anti-Beacon and remove it. Unfortunately, Anti-Beacon decided not to allow me to undo everything, despite rebooting the system to test if that was the issue. It didn't even remove the entries from the HOSTS file, until I gave up trying to "undo" all the protection and simply uninstalled it. At that point, it finally removed the HOSTS file entries.

    Then I loaded up ShutUp10, enabled the options I wanted (including the ones missing from Anti-Beacon), and looked at my HOSTS file. Nothing, no idiotic tampering of the HOSTS file at all.

    a few more bonuses of ShutUp10:
    -Completely portable, no install
    -Actively maintained (Anti-Beacon is rotting under a pile of user reports/complaints)
    -Cleaner and simpler interface
     
  2. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    yep I know they been doing that for months.

    Basically a while back someone made a blog showing how to stop windows 10 spying and they published a load of domains. Ironically the page is now gone of the net but not before the list was copied and pasted everywhere.

    The problem was 80% of that list was non microsoft domains and at least half of the microsoft owned domains had nothing to do with the privacy issues.

    Bad form from this developer to blindly use that list without doing any checks on it.

    Sadly this is how the community is, e.g. I can post a blog article with information I know is wrong on my security blog and within a week 20 other bloggers will have copy and pasted it on their blog's.
     
  3. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

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    For those of you removing Anti-Beacon, it seems that it also leaves a scheduled task behind, the uninstaller does not remove this...
     
  4. ComputerSaysNo

    ComputerSaysNo Registered Member

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    I have used multiple anti-spying programs on the workstation computers I look after.

    I would advise people to use Destroy Windows Spying check it out here http://dws.wzor.net/

    It adds Microsoft spying domains to the host file but it's best feature is that it adds all spying i.p addresses to the block rules on the firewall.

    I've found that on Windows 10 Enterprise is the best version to avoid spying by using group policy and DWS.

    I have used ShutUp10 and it did the job and I would reccomend using that tool too.

    I would also recommend deleting Cortina, OneDrive, every single one of the Windows 10 Apps, and the entire Windows 10 Store.
     
  5. chrcol

    chrcol Registered Member

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    win10 enterprise is by far the best version of win10 but its limited sadly to rich people, large companies or educational licenses, not sure why microsoft are generous with the features educational licenses get. (on par with enterprise).
     
  6. Rigz

    Rigz Registered Member

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    Enterprise is the only version of W10 I will run when I have to use Windows for something.
     
  7. Umbra

    Umbra Registered Member

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    i would too if i had the money ^^