Our Blog

Tips and advice for maintenance, optimization, and daily computing tasks.

Our Blog

Blog

To our customers:

Andy Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

At CompuClever we pride ourselves on building a valued relationship with our user base.  It is our mission and mandate to build software that is reliable and safe and to establish a relationship with our clientele in such a way as to offer not only software expertise but also solid customer support.  We not only make ourselves available we encourage our users to contact us should they need to deal with PC issues involving performance and optimization.

That said, we would like to bring to your attention a service that has done us a disservice.  There is a website that users can offer their own reviews so as to rate websites and the products they make available.  The website service is called MyWOT (WOT standing for “Web of Trust”).  It came to our attention that CompuClever has received not only a poor rating but one that is inaccurate and grossly misleading.  You can see this rating here: https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/compuclever.com.  We were given two ratings of “Poor Trustworthiness” and “Very poor on Child safety”.  There was also one item of: “Previous blacklisting by a trusted source…”

How could this come about? Here are the details of how this happens:

  • The notion “Previous blacklisting by a trusted source…” is pointless and we contacted the owner of that blacklist and got CompuClever.com removed with almost no effort.  It seems like MyWOT enjoys leaving hints and traces about the bad aspects of our website without solid proof.
  • The current “Poor Trustworthiness” and “Very poor on Child safety” is based on low volume vote, for which MyWOT even admits:  they have “low confidence in its rating”.  This means that a competing company can rate their competition very low and thereby sabotage the validity of both this web rating service and the reputable company.

The only solid piece of information is in the section of “Information from third-party sources” which is obtained from Symantec.  Since our website is verified by Norton Symantec, it presents a safe verification: https://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=www.compuclever.com

We Care: Some might say it’s best to ignore discrediting acts such as this and keep on fighting the good fight.  However, the reason that we care about our current rating status on MyWOT was because its data is being used by some large Internet service providers and social networks like Facebook and DuckDuckGo.

What we would like: It is our hope that we can get real reviews by real customers so as to reflect the true product value we have devoted ourselves to establish.  We want real people to give real feedback and to counter the saboteurs.  Here is what you can do:

Steps:

  1. Go to this page: https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/compuclever.com
  2. Click on this link: “Please Register / login to leave a comment.”
  3. Fill out the info on the sign up page ( https://www.mywot.com/en/signup ) and follow the steps to create a new account.
  4. From the MyWOT webpage, go to the top right search bar and type in the website address: compuclever.com.
  5. Click the blue “Rate the website” button.

Bonus: If you’d like to have a little fun now that you have gone through the steps and signed on to this web rating service… why not try rating the website “mywot.com”.  I think it would be fair to say that it does promise to be a good rating system if only it didn’t suffer from misleading ratings that can be easily swayed by only a few invalid reviews.

From the makers of PC TuneUp Maestro, PC Clean Maestro, Ultra eBook Reader, and Ultra File Opener… we at CompuClever would like to give you our thanks for your patronage and support.  We are a real company, providing a real and valued service.  We hope to continue establishing this relationship in the future with you and others so that your PC experience is a positive one!


Andy Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
On behalf of all of us at CompuClever

 

Browser Repair

by Andy Thompson on February 13, 2015

We have touched on the subject of web browsers in recent articles but have not given full attention to one particularly naughty and crafty unwanted program that many have had the misfortune of experiencing.  How frustrating is it when we take the time to uninstall or re-adjust something on our computer and we find our efforts become undone.  We frequently see many people in need of our support services as they have lost the ability to restore their web home page and regain the overall functionality, look, and feel of their web browser.  The fundamental feeling to this is that their computer is no longer their own but is to some degree, controlled by someone else for another purpose or gain.  This is not right and we need to reclaim our PC and restore the ability to customize the web browser.  We’ll describe the situation to some degree and then point out the steps to take to uninstall the unwanted items and recover your browser once again.

browser repairHow It Happens:

Installing unwanted items to your computer can happen quickly and easily to the point of not knowing what you are getting.  The recent trend is to more easily accept free apps for our PC and because of this, distributors are packaging third-party and other, sometime questionable, software into bundles.  Bundled packages will include items that we do not want installed at any point for any reason.  The result, a user will typically experience unwanted changes such as their browser toolbar or home page being changed.  There is one program called Search Protect, that appears trustworthy based on its name and even claims to protect and maintain your browser settings, but it is a complete sham.

Unwanted Program:

The Search Protect program – from Client Connect; formerly Conduit, a venture of Perion – is known to be potentially dangerous in terms of being a browser virus that steals confidential information for third parties.  Less worrisome but still placing it in the realm of malicious software, it does modify the web browser targeting any or all of the following: search engine, home page, new tab page, and other settings, so as to point to a partner portal site.  From the Client Connect / Conduit website we can see the program in a completely different light:

Search Protect is a free desktop application that saves your preferred browser’s homepage and default search settings so that they can’t be changed by software you download from the Internet. Search Protect may alert you if a third party attempts to change your browser’s default search or homepage settings.[1]

The site goes on to say that you can use Search Protect to manage your browser settings but the reality is you have no control; the malicious settings remain.  The true known characteristics of this software offender include:

  • Potential malware can be installed by this program.
  • Hijacks aspects of the web browser (homepage, search engine, etc.).
  • Difficult to remove as it will re-install itself.

With the last point, some reports [2] state that attempting to remove the program can cause PC system errors.  Considering the program acts to guard the browser from any changes made, it would appear that you are stuck.  Not so if you have the right tools.

The Fix:

The steps involved in fixing and restoring your browser first begin with dealing with the unwanted program, Search Protect in our example, using PC Clean Maestro.

To uninstall the unwanted item:

  1. Open PC Clean Maestro and select the Uninstaller button in the left pane.
  2. Begin by searching for questionable programs in the Recently Installed tab as can be seen in the image below.  If you installed something within the last 10 days it will appear here.  If you do not see any items you can use the other tabs or enter a word in the Search box.  In this case the word “Search” would bring up Search Protect or other questionable programs.
  3. Select the program and determine if it is unwanted.
  4. Tip: If you are not sure about a program and whether to remove it… check the resource site: http://www.shouldiremoveit.com From here you will can enter in a program by name and get the goods on it.  You can also see that programs like “Search Protect” and many others with “Search” in their names are listed as the top most active programs to remove.
  5. Click the Uninstall button.uninstall_unwanted_program

The next step is to restore the browser to its previous state.

To restore the browser:

  1. In the PC Clean Maestro window, select the Browsers button in the left pane as can be seen in the image below.
  2. Select the browser tab (for example: “IE” or “Firefox”).
  3. Click the restore button located at the top right.restore browser

Once you have completed these steps you can now open your browser and customize your homepage, search engine, and other options.

Here is a list of other programs to be on the lookout for: [3]

  • Search App (by Ask)
  • Search Protection (Spigot)
  • Remote Desktop Access VuuPC (CMI Ltd)
  • Settings Manager (Aztec)
  • Wincheck
  • Mobogenie
  • Mixi.DJ toolbar
  • WhiteSmoke Toolbar
  • Delta Search toolbar
  • Oople Toolbar
  • Internet Helper Toolbar
  • DivX Browser Bar
  • Yontoo
  • Travelocity Toolbar
  • Entrusted Toolbar
  • Social Search Toolbar
  • VisualBee
  • Webcake

In Summary…

Applications and especially bundled programs need to be installed with our knowledge and consent and from trusted sources.  Having the ability to quickly determine what you have recently installed is vital.  PC Clean Maestro identifies installed items and effectively uninstalls unwanted programs.  With the offending item out of the way you can return your browser to the way you prefer it.

We will continue to provide story lines like this that benefit all of us and we will describe them in a manner that is within reach of everyday computer users.  If you have some ideas of topics you would like us to cover, email us at: newsletter@compuclever.com


[1] We choose to not include the website as there are reports of unwanted redirects to the website that have resulted in phishing attempts as well as receiving spam, junk email, and phone marketing scam messages.
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_hijacking
[3] http://www.bitdefender.com/tech-assist/self-help/how-to-remove-the-search-protect.html

New Year’s PC Resolution

by Andy Thompson January 16, 2015

This article reviews the previous articles from 2014 that focus on PC performance and how you can take action to better improve PC sluggishness, accumulation of clutter, and unwanted actions or items. Here is your chance to pinpoint any issue that is within your ability to resolve. It’s time for some PC resolution!

Read the full article →

Browsing for browsers

by Andy Thompson December 12, 2014

There are two main themes to present – choice and browser clean up. As for choice… not all browsers are created equal. Most all of us start off with what comes with our PC – Internet Explorer. For some people, this is the only choice they know. While all browsers have the ability to access your favorite sites and create bookmarks, there are very real differences between the top most widely used browsers. This could be the time for you to look into the options. As for browser clean up, we have new functionality to roll out with our PC Clean Maestro application. As we are well aware, browsers start out with the basics and then, through the installation of extensions, they can get bogged down or in some cases are altered without our approval – most frequently, our homepage or search engine changes. It’s time to take charge and have your browser function as you would have it.

Read the full article →

DIY vs. Repair Shop

by Andy Thompson November 14, 2014

Why is it that asking for help can be an overwhelming obstacle? The reality is… there is a certain shame that comes from seeking help when we don’t know something. No one wants to admit to being lost and needing directions and no one wants to feel like they are not smart enough. Plus, we all want to join the ranks of DIY – Do It Yourself. To be real, this takes assessing the situation and knowing if the issues are outside our expertise. When we are simply spinning our wheels, it’s time to take it to the professionals. The next task is to get good and reliable service that will lead to a real solution. This article segues from some of our recent articles that focus on assessment of PC problems. We’ll cover this in brief and provide links. The main impetus for this article is to shine some light on PC repair technicians that are not trustworthy and to strongly emphasize how our users can benefit from available tools and services including those offered by our CompuClever support team.

Read the full article →

CompuClever Free Functionality

by Andy Thompson October 17, 2014
Thumbnail image for CompuClever Free Functionality

We’ve mentioned before in previous articles how there are some companies of poor repute that offer “free” stuff. But what you actually get is something not entirely free. At best you get a free time trial of the product; at worst you get a free app bundled with a bunch of add-ons that you didn’t want resulting in a clogged system with popup ads or other system modifications you didn’t ask for. CompuClever provides applications that have some functionality enabled for you to try for free. If you want the full program you can upgrade. There are no tricks or deceptions. We want you to try our products and see if they meet your needs. As you do have one of our paid programs we encourage you to look at our entire application suite and try out anything that looks of interest.

Read the full article →

Virus vs. PUP and how to remove both

by Andy Thompson September 12, 2014

We are going to tread carefully and examine two areas of PC ailments. We will strive to make this more understandable and to provide effective and free solutions for both. If you look at how Microsoft deals with these categories you will find that they admit these two areas are not mutually exclusive and certain terms are used interchangeably. For our purposes we want to be more definite so that we can pinpoint what steps you need to take in order to deal with these items if you are or ever have experienced them. This article also assists you in preventing them from happening, provides free tools, and outlines the steps to get rid of both types.

Read the full article →

Improve Startup

by Andy Thompson August 12, 2014

Why settle for a computer that is slow? Maybe we come to expect that our PC is just not as fast as it used to be – but why? There are a number of reasons why you are getting poor performance. We are going to narrow it down in this article to one area of concern: Startup time. Typically, we download applications and they will by default run when you start your system. Do you need these to be running every time you start the computer? It is not likely. There is no advantage to having them run prior to when you need them. Software programs are designed to start very quickly. So let’s use your available tools to trim this list of startup items. If there is still an issue with performance we can try out a few other available tools.

Read the full article →

Cookie Time

by Andy Thompson July 9, 2014

There is one type of cookie that the Cookie Monster would not find appealing – computer cookies. But what are they and what are we to do with them? We are going to expand on what is known as “web” or “browser” cookies that are stored on your PC as a result of online browsing. The benefit to keeping these on your system is minor and they can be used in ways we do not wish. As a result, we pass on instructions on how to safely get rid of them.

Read the full article →

Spring PC Cleaning

by Andy Thompson June 6, 2014

It’s spring time. What a wonderful time of the year. We tend to feel energized from a restful winter season and it’s time to take on chores that were neglected or “to do” items that set the stage for our busy endeavors ahead. One of these tasks is cleaning your PC so that it runs efficiently. Believe it or not this process does not have to be equivalent to tearing one’s hair out and it can be very fast using the right tools. In the end you may have two important chores accomplished – a better organization of personal files and dead weight that we can refer to as “clutter” is removed.

Read the full article →