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Last post Author Topic: myWOT uninstall nightmare  (Read 7241 times)

bit

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myWOT uninstall nightmare
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:55:30 PM »
myWOT is 'my Web of Trust'.
If you install it, you can use it to selectively block websites, and benefit from data of other myWOT users to block others as well.
IOW, it's a glorified whitelist/blacklist add-on.

After installing on both Firefox and Seamonkey, I eventually concluded I could do the job just as well myself, and decided to uninstall it.
No problem with Firefox; just go to add-ons, find it, click uninstall, done...or so I thought.

I couldn't find how to locate and uninstall it from Seamonkey, so I ran a keyword Google on how to do this, and came up with this post, warning me that myWOT is itself a reputed snake-in-the-grass about allowing itself to be uninstalled.
Worst, myWOT reputedly persists in tracking you after it is 'uninstalled'.

Here is a quote from that person's warning about not using myWOT:
"Dear MyWot, what you are doing is tracking users after they "opt-out". This is malicious behaviour to say the least... and sure a privacy threat, weakening Firefox's privacy.

Therefore people: be aware that you'll need to remove about 250+ entries from your "about:config" section... or even better: for a complete uninstall of the MyWot Addon... open the "prefs.js" file with notepad and remove ALL lines that include "weboftrust" AND "mywot". Be sure not to miss the 3 hash numbers. When you're done cleaning all that from your browser, open up your clean little Firefox and breathe fresh air again."

Okay, well, I'm guess I'm not breathing the 'fresh air' yet.
Because according to his report, myWOT really isn't 'uninstalled' from Firefox yet, and I have no idea where to even look to do so in Seamonkey.

Does anybody please have any suggestion how to find and uninstall myWOT from both Firefox and Seamonkey, and be sure it really will be totally uninstalled?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 01:56:23 AM by bit »

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 09:16:20 PM »
PS - How would it be if I simply export my bookmarks, uninstall Firefox, then reimport the bookmarks and reset all my personal settings and reinstall all my favorite add-ons, except for myWOT?
Will that work, or is myWOT going to be a lurker and be hiding somewhere else as well?

I'm not quite sure what to do about uninstalling from Seamonkey.
Thank you.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:54:18 AM by bit »

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 09:18:19 PM »
The person who gave the original head's-up on this, says during uninstall from Firefox, "...Be sure not to miss the 3 hash numbers..."
What's a hash number?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:54:37 AM by bit »

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 09:30:33 PM »
Instead of uninstalling/reinstalling Firefox, you should be able to hold down a shift key while starting it and then choose to reset to defaults.

For hash number, think of it as similar to an MD5 checksum - it could be composed of alphanumeric or just numeric characters.  It's probably what they use to personally identify your computer.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 11:59:11 PM »
Instead of uninstalling/reinstalling Firefox, you should be able to hold down a shift key while starting it and then choose to reset to defaults.

More DC advice gold!

While not WOT, I have junked up my copies of FF a few times, so that might be handy.


sword

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 12:46:31 PM »
I had some issues when switching to another operating system (linux variety) on the same box and trying to set up WOT. I tried lots of fixes and found one that seems to work. I use DuckDuckGo and set it up to enable WOT and it works without going through the WOT registration again. DuckDuckGo does not track so that might help.

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 11:38:49 PM »
Instead of uninstalling/reinstalling Firefox, you should be able to hold down a shift key while starting it and then choose to reset to defaults.

For hash number, think of it as similar to an MD5 checksum - it could be composed of alphanumeric or just numeric characters.  It's probably what they use to personally identify your computer.
"...hold down shift key while starting to reset to defaults..."
It worked on Firefox; way cool.

myWOT is looking more and more like crapware, as per this link.

I'd like to remove myWOT piecemeal from Seamonkey Portable, but I can't even find where it's listed in Preferences or Tools.
Typing about:config and searching for myWOT or weboftrust shows a ton of entries, but gives no way to remove them.
Plus I'd rather do a proper uninstall first, then go after the about:config lines, if I knew what file path and file they were in.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:54:58 AM by bit »

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 11:44:26 PM »
Having looked at the link @bit gave above and some of the comments regarding the addon, I have to wonder why:

You can even trust a company that:
a) Apparently continues to track you after you uninstall their software and don't tell you they are.
b) Allows results to be so skewed in the first place.
c) Wants you to sucker your friends into using their software, (more people to track?  I wonder ...), to counteract a sites rating.

Consider the negative reaction when Download Statusbar surreptitiously updated and went adware - the developer quickly reverted to the pre-adware version.

Yet people using WOT are OK with the software tracking their every web move?

Even when it's uninstalled?

I bet the myWOT site doesn't have a negative WOT rating nor is it likely to gain one considering the closed nature of the rating system.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 06:20:55 AM by 4wd, Reason: GFU »

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 11:49:18 PM »
^right.
Okay, I found myWOT in Add-Ons in Seamonkey Portable and did a proper uninstall.
Then I typed about:config in the address bar, followed by weboftrust, and there were the gazillion left-over entries that post heads-up warned about.
It won't allow 'delete' of the entries.
So what is the name of the file with all those entries and where is it located I wonder?
I'm reminded of an 'Aliens' quote; "...so who's laying all these eggs?..."
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:55:16 AM by bit »

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 11:54:36 PM »
It won't allow 'delete' of the entries.
So what is the name of the file with all those entries and where is it located I wonder?

Right-click on an entry and select Reset, when you restart Firefox/Seamonkey/Thunderbird/etc, it should be gone.

ie. It's reset to its default value, which in the case of an non-default entry is non-existence  :)

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 12:10:44 AM »
It won't allow 'delete' of the entries.
So what is the name of the file with all those entries and where is it located I wonder?

Right-click on an entry and select Reset, when you restart Firefox/Seamonkey/Thunderbird/etc, it should be gone.

ie. It's reset to its default value, which in the case of an non-default entry is non-existence  :)
Nice!!!!!
In fact, it's downright civilized. :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:55:32 AM by bit »

tomos

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare (and it's crapware)
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 02:17:29 AM »
myWOT is looking more and more like crapware, as per this link.

Wow - I was shocked by that.
Everyone should read...
Tom

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 09:40:12 PM »
I reset Firefox, but lost an option I can't figure out how to get back.
When I open a new blank tab, it initially shows my history in a grid of nine rectangles, even with the "Don't save history" option checked.
There's a way to get it not to show that, but I can't seem to find it.

Another problem probably not fixable is that when I go to close all 'other' tabs, it invariably warns me I am about to close all other tabs and do I wish to continue?
I'd rather not have this 'safety feature' second-guessing me like that.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 12:55:49 AM by bit »

mouser

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare (and it's crapware)
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2013, 10:12:19 PM »
I don't personally use WOT, but i know a little bit about it and i think we have people on DC who really like it.

Reading the criticisms of WOT on the links posted in this thread, there seem to be 3 very different complaints:

1. That uninstalling WOT doesn't really fully uninstall it.
2. That WOT can be "gamed" to harm site reputations.
3. That WOT forum is censoring posts critical of it.
4. That WOT is useless because its "just" using user's opinions to judge sites instead of scanning for viruses, etc.

As for #1, there are lots of cases where uninstalling leaves behind trivial stuff that is not used for any purpose -- sometimes just because deleting it seems pointless, or because a reinstall should preserve the settings, etc.  Sometimes people freak out about such things.  I think in order to be upset or care, you'd really want to show that WOT is using this left over undeleted information for nefarious purposes.  I'm not saying someone shouldn't document how to clear this information or that i know whether or not it's being used, i'm just saying that just because info is left over after an uninstall is not in itself reason to freak out.

As for #2, i do think WOT can be gamed, and probably *is* being gamed -- though not nearly as much as most of the damn internet services we use every day.  every major successfull (and trying to be successful) internet service is gamed to high heaven, both from inside the company -- to fakely inflate the apparent popularity, and by external people who pay to have fake accounts and content and upvotes and likes, etc.  It's the nature of our current system that such gaming takes place and has become a solid business model.  it sucks.  It's fair to complain when companies encourage this or don't do much about it.  I don't know enough about WOT to judge them on this.

As for #3, i don't approve of removing critical forum posts, if they are doing that, shame on them.  but it does seem to be VERY common in the industry.

As for #4, i think that's a silly complaint -- using user reputations gives you a very different way to judge a site's evilness, and can frequently be more useful and intelligent and mindful than some automated virus scanning, which frequently makes mistakes and can be hell to get fixed since humans are not involved.

Just my 2 cents -- i think we should be a little more cautious about hating on WOT until someone comes up with some more solid reasons to do so.

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare (and it's crapware)
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 11:47:26 PM »
As for #1, there are lots of cases where uninstalling leaves behind trivial stuff that is not used for any purpose -- sometimes just because deleting it seems pointless, or because a reinstall should preserve the settings, etc.  Sometimes people freak out about such things.  I think in order to be upset or care, you'd really want to show that WOT is using this left over undeleted information for nefarious purposes.  I'm not saying someone shouldn't document how to clear this information or that i know whether or not it's being used, i'm just saying that just because info is left over after an uninstall is not in itself reason to freak out.

While good points, I think the fact that it leaves behind traces that allow you to be personally identifiable when you visit a web site and the developers haven't seen fit to tell anyone this, does not exactly instill a feeling of goodwill.

Consider the subject dropped by me ... don't want to end up with DC getting the red donut  ;)

mouser

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare (and it's crapware)
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2013, 11:54:04 PM »
agreed, if the leftover information is enough to actually IDENTIFY you, and it's somehow doing that not using the normal way (cookies).. well i can't think of any justification for that -- and if it was done on purpose, and is actively being USED to identify people? that's NOT ok and needs to be called out in a serious way, and we should expect some answers.

i mean every site on the planet now tracks users with cookies.. and i don't quite understand how a site is identifying a WOT user without a plugin and without using cookies.

can someone explain that to me?

i'd just like to see some more evidence or explanation about that before i make up my mind..

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall nightmare
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 12:24:05 AM »
Wouldn't it just be a matter of using JavaScript to interrogate for the three hash values that are left behind in the browser config?

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2013, 01:04:07 AM »
Ookay, okay, I did say 'reputed'.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 02:03:44 AM by bit »

mouser

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2013, 01:10:17 AM »
Quote
Wouldn't it just be a matter of using JavaScript to interrogate for the three hash values that are left behind in the browser config?

surely a website is not allowed to run javascript that can go reading your arbitrary firefox browser configuration settings.

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2013, 01:32:08 AM »
So anyways, when I'm using Firefox and click on the "+" sign to open a new web browser and before telling it what website to go to, it gives me this grid of nine rectangles, that even with 'history' turned off, tells my history of the last nine websites I visited.
Before I did 'reset' on Firefox (and BTW thank you very much for showing me how to do that), I had it set up not to do that, and it didn't.
But now I can't remember how to do that.

(edit): I remember now; I had it set up somehow so that everytime I clicked on "+" to create a new blank tab, it would automatically go to my favorite website!
Now I just need to remember how I did that...

(edit): Okay, found it!

Quote: If you are concerned about your privacy, you can turn this feature off completely:

    In the Location bar, type about:config and press Enter.
        The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise! to continue to the about:config page.
    Type browser.newtab.url in the search box.
    Double-click the browser.newtab.url preference and change the url from about:newtab to about:blank. Alternately, you can change it to about:home for the Firefox Google home page, or type in your preferred home page, for example google.com.
    Click OK and close the about:config tab.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 01:37:21 AM by bit »

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2013, 02:17:27 AM »
Okay, for our next magic trick...
I just uninstalled myWOT from my Chrome browser.
Where and how to I find all those 250-odd hidden lines of leftover myWOT code and remove them from Chrome, please?
Typing about:config in Chrome's address bar only gives me an error mssg.

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2013, 02:54:40 AM »
agreed, if the leftover information is enough to actually IDENTIFY you, and it's somehow doing that not using the normal way (cookies).. well i can't think of any justification for that -- and if it was done on purpose, and is actively being USED to identify people? that's NOT ok and needs to be called out in a serious way, and we should expect some answers.

i mean every site on the planet now tracks users with cookies.. and i don't quite understand how a site is identifying a WOT user without a plugin and without using cookies.

can someone explain that to me?

i'd just like to see some more evidence or explanation about that before i make up my mind..

How? Not sure. But for proof, please go here.
Please run a page keyword search for "wireshark.org" and read the entire entry posted there.

BTW, myWOT now teams up with Facebook [WRONG - please see below].
Please go here again:
Run a page search for these words, in quotes: "The big problem is now that Facebook pulls data from".
EDIT/UPDATE: Please go here again, and you'll find this entry, quote: "Pawel Reszka
I wouldn’t worry about WOT that much. Their reputation is already destroyed. They did it to themselves. Facebook doesn’t uses them to block sites anymore either."
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 03:33:56 AM by bit »

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2013, 03:31:40 AM »
More on myWOT's 'fall from grace'.
Please go here:

Quote: "MYWOT (mywot.com), a small company from Finland headed by controversial co-founder Sami Tolvanen has recently been caught in another scam according to hundreds of anonymous reports. This time the MYWOT scam is minuscule (no one is suing MYWOT again) but has lead to public statements from Facebook concerning the truth about poorly designed MYWOT reputation system."

"MYWOT was caught purchasing Facebook likes, similar to when they were caught purchasing Twitter followers (image below) from two separate online suppliers. 24% of Web of Trust’s Facebook likes have been removed by Facebook, and more are suspected to shed from MYWOT.COM’s fake Facebook like total."

"Facebook also has since removed MYWOT as a partner due to unscrupulous activities found to be “not trustworthy” by Facebook executives. Facebook executives further state:"

“The decision to cancel our relationship with MYWOT is unfortunate, however, Facebook has found evidence of manipulation of companies on the MYWOT system. Facebook acknowledges that MYWOT has a open forum rated by internet peers, however the ranking system has substantial flaws.”
Facebook executive Matt Cohler also submits that “Facebook will be more careful in the future in regards to partnering with companies such as MYWOT.”

bit

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2013, 03:33:07 AM »
I still need to know how to check in Chrome if I got WOT completely uninstalled, or if it's still stealth tracking me, please. Thank you.

(edit): I can just export my Chrome bookmarks, uninstall it, run a registry cleaner, then reinstall Chrome and import the bookmarks.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 04:29:58 AM by bit »

4wd

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Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2013, 05:13:04 AM »