Is CCleaner Safe?
Are you worried that CCleaner is an infected program and it is not safe to use on your computer? Your worry is not entirely meaningless. There have been questions regarding the authenticity of this software in the past. In this article, we will know about these questions and answer to the biggest one “Is CCleaner safe?”
What is it?
CCleaner is a PC optimization software that cleans unnecessary files and programs from your computer and makes it fast. Software Company Piriform has developed it. This tool has a free and premium version. It deletes unused files, temp files, cookies to make your computer faster. It also makes computer registry uncluttered so that it responds quickly. CCleaner also cleans unnecessary programs in the startup which makes your computer slow to start. This tool is useful in many ways.
Get Second Opinion Malware Scanner
MalwareFox is a reliable anti-malware software runs alongside antivirus to find infections which cannot be detected easily.
VirusTotal analyses a program and checks its status with different antivirus engines. We uploaded the CCleaner installer on VirusTotal to see its score. It gets detected in 2 antivirus engines out of 67. Meaning 65 antiviruses think it is safe and two antiviruses are considering it unsafe. I would say it’s a pretty good score. You must be thinking of those two who mark it unsafe. Well, you should not, as it is not something new that an antivirus makes a false positive on a legit program.
ESET-NOD32 thinks it is bundled with some toolbar, however when I download and install this software from the official website it didn’t have any toolbar. Another antivirus engine thinks it is a Trojan, which is a false positive because other 65 engines report it clean software.
Problems Faced in Past
Last year, hackers modified the CCleaner program opening a backdoor for them to seek into users data. Paul Yung Vice President of Piriform reported this. They said suspicious activity was detected in CCleaner version 5.33 and CCleaner Cloud version 1.07 on 12th September 2017. He said that the program was modified opening backdoor to an unknown IP address before it was released to the public.
This IP address was receiving data from the user’s computer. Piriform reported that they had taken necessary actions to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm. No one was sure how many users have been affected by this breach, but if we see the number of downloads which is 5 million per week, it was scary.
Piriform blocked that threat and immediately released the new version of the program. It is again safe to use. Cybercriminals keep doing this kind of hack. I know the company should have taken more security precautions, but still, we cannot judge them with this one incident.
If we look into the user’s opinion from the forums, it is mixed. Few people think it is dangerous while few think it is safe. On MalwareTips Forum Gandalf_The_Grey reply to the question “Is CCleaner safe to download again?”
It is the most closely watched program right now.
He means after the attack the company is more cautious.
Another user Aldan said –
Another user said something terrible about the registry cleaner of CCleaner –
There have been mixed reviews of users some thinks it is an excellent program while some things we don’t need such applications to clean the junk files while there is the inbuilt tool in Windows for that.
Company Info and Reputation
Piriform started in 2004 with the launch of CCleaner after that they have launched several products. Their motto is to simplify the user’s task with their software. Their another favorite product is Recuva which is a free file recovering software. Many people use this tool to recover their accidentally deleted files. CCleaner itself is installed over 2 Billion times. They are in the industry helping people for 14 years. Yes, users have criticised their products, and they faced attack. Still, they are working ahead to move along.
A software company running successfully for 14 years will never willingly include malware in their products. The reputation of the company is way high than earning a few bucks inserting malware. We should always use the status of a company to judge its products.
CCleaner is a legitimate program that works effectively in cleaning your computer. It is a matter of debate that we need it or not. However, there is no question regarding the security concerns of using it. There has been an incident that has damaged the trust of users with this program, but again the company has worked to restore it.
You can use it without worrying. If you still hesitate to install it then download and install MalwareFox antimalware and scan it. Keep its Real-Time protection on so that it can stop any malware from executing.
Our Verdict: Safe
Still, if you think that CCleaner is not safe for you, then you can try some other options.
- 1BleachBit - It is a lightweight open source program to clean your computer.
- 2Glary Utilities - It has a bunch of tools to optimize the performance of your PC.
- 3KCleaner - It is a simple tool that scans deep and ensures privacy protection.
- 4Wise Disk Cleaner - The program offers a simple and advanced mode of disk cleaning.
- 5PrivaZer - It is built to scan and delete files that have been tracking your activity.
If you are worried about the security of your computer, I would suggest you do not install any cleaner app and give a try to Windows inbuilt disk cleanup utility. Search for Disk Cleanup on Cortana search box and open it.
You can also use Storage sense to remove temp files automatically. Go to Settings> System> Storage> Storage Sense – Toggle it to on.