5 Popular Security and Privacy Apps You Should Uninstall and Replace

Christian Cawley 01-05-2018

You’ve been using these tools for years… but it turns out, they may not be as great as once thought. Perhaps the company isn’t supporting the app anymore. Perhaps better tools have come along.


At the end of the day, these apps and utilities aren’t keeping your data secure any longer, so it’s time to uninstall and replace them. Here are five security and privacy apps that you should uninstall when you get the chance, and what to replace them with.

1. Swap CCleaner for BleachBit

We start with what is arguably the most popular third party utility for Windows. CCleaner was once a great tool, perfect for tidying up unwanted files, temporary internet data, and more. While it can still do these things, a couple of incidents have soured CCleaner for many.

First was the August 2017 release which was hijacked by hackers CCleaner Was Distributing Malware for a Month CCleaner, a popular piece of security software with a squeaky clean reputation, was distributing malware for the best part of a month. Which means you need to update ASAP. Read More . Their modified version of CCleaner was released on the Pirifom website, and included “a two-stage backdoor capable of running code received from a remote IP address on affected systems”. This backdoor could, for instance, have been used to push malware, keyloggers, and evebn ransomware to unsuspecting users.

After this, Piriform’s new owner Avast decided to bundle Avast Free Antivirus into the download. Not the best way to rebuild trust!

As an alternative, we suggest you check out BleachBit, an open-source alternative that is capable of doing all the tasks you’re happy with in CCleaner, with additional secure deletion.


Download: BleachBit

2. Swap TunnelBear for ExpressVPN

With 500MB of free data use a month, TunnelBear is perhaps the most popular free VPN (even though unlimited free VPNs exist).

It’s available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android… but the world of free VPNs appears to be in decline, and following TunnelBear’s purchase by McAfee, it seems unlikely that this cute service will continue in its free form. Throw in the fact that you can’t use TunnelBear to watch Netflix abroad, and it all seems a bit useless.

popular security and privacy apps to uninstall and replace


While we recommend holding on until time is finally up for the free version of TunnelBear, you might prefer to jump ship straight away. Many strong VPN alternatives are available, but our favorite is ExpressVPN. Use the link below to get three free months!

Download: ExpressVPN

3. Swap Junkware Removal Tool for Malwarebytes

Junkware Removal Tool (aka JRT) is designed to remove potentially unwanted programs from your PC. The list of PUPs includes things like browser extensions, adware, and unwanted toolbars (the type that sneakily appear in the install wizard Begin The Fight Back Against Toolbar Installer Bloatware! [Opinion] Recently I had cause to install some free video conversion software and was amazed to find so many attempts to fool me into installing additional software, not to mention attempts to upsell at the end... Read More when you’re installing something else) and others.

Sounds useful, doesn’t it? Malwarebytes certainly thought so; they bought JRT in 2015, so if you’re using their Antimalware tool already, it now deals with junkware. Although JRT was supported after the buyout, it was retired in late 2018, and Malwarebytes officially ended support on April 26, 2018.


If you have JRT still installed on your computer, it’s now redundant. Old versions might prove to be a vulnerability that malware might exploit, so uninstall it as soon as possible.

Download: Malwarebytes

4. Swap Web of Trust for Bitdefender TrafficLight

A community-based browser extension, Web of Trust (WOT) gives each site you visit a rating, based on Trustworthiness, Vendor Reliability, Privacy, and Child Safety. You might already have received a new PC with it pre-installed; this often has the side effect of slowing down Windows.

That’s enough of a reason to consider uninstall Web of Trust, but it actually gets worse. In 2016, it was found that WOT was selling user data You Should Uninstall Web of Trust Right Now You should consider uninstalling WOT right now. Why? Because Web of Trust has been caught collecting and selling user data. Even worse, this data hasn't always been successfully anonymized. Read More to advertisers. While an opt-out setting was eventually added, this is an unforgivable breach of privacy, and, well, trust.


We previously recommended that users uninstall and replace Web of Trust. If you need to find out a site’s trustworthiness before you visit, try one of these alternatives.

Download: Netcraft | Webutation [No Longer Available] | Bitdefender TrafficLight

5. Swap ZoneAlarm for a Paid Security Suite

Once upon a time, ZoneAlarm was the first thing you installed after setting up a fresh Windows installation. In the days when Windows’ built-in firewall was inadequate, this free firewall was essentially.

Things have changed.

popular security and privacy apps to uninstall and replace

Recent tests have shown that the free antivirus component of ZoneAlarm scores poorly. Instead of removing malware, it opts to lock offending malicious software in a secure vault. While a paid version is available, you have plenty of superior alternatives. Operating system firewalls are now far more reliable, but it’s still a good idea to install security software capable of blocking intruders. Our list of the best security tools should help you here.

Download: Malwarebytes Premium 5 Reasons to Upgrade to Malwarebytes Premium: Yes, It's Worth It While the free version of Malwarebytes is awesome, the premium version has a bunch of useful and worthwhile features. Read More or one of our recommended security suites The Best Computer Security and Antivirus Tools Concerned about malware, ransomware, and viruses? Here are the best security and antivirus apps you need to stay protected. Read More

Replace Your Old, Insecure Apps!

It should be clear at this point that even the most accomplished security software can end up making your system vulnerable to intrusion. But you can avoid this by staying up to date with developments, and being open to trying new solutions.

Here, we’ve suggested you try out

  • BleachBit
  • ExpressVPN
  • Malwarebytes Antimalware
  • Netcraft, Webutation, or Bitdefender TrafficLight
  • A security tool with a firewall from our best of list

Remember, if you’re concerned about an app or tool, there’s almost always a replacement. Keep it going with some of these awesome open-source security apps 7 Great Open-Source Security Apps You’re Not Using Online security tools are vital, but open source security apps are preferable. Here are seven you should try. Read More .

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Techminator
    June 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    If Windows has inbuilt cleaner then what about registry cleaner?

  2. David
    May 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I recently tried IOBIT ADVANCED SYSTEMCARE PRO, and MALWAREBYTES FREE version did not like it much. Labelled it PUP.OPTIONAL. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this issue? Thanks for these other recommendations.

  3. mpoujolrost @Prestatairesweb
    May 6, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Thanks ofr the tips!

  4. Jonathan
    May 2, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I use zonealarm free firewall without the anti virus. Seems to work fine except for the occasional pop up wanting me to upgrade to premium. I have Avast for antivirus but that actually has become bloated and continually tries to connect to the internet constantly for something. Zonealarm is always popping up telling me Avast is trying to connect to the internet and it's not just for updates. That's what I need to replace is Avast.
    I think I'll keep zonealarm free firewall for now unless you all have a better option.

    • James Ryan
      May 9, 2018 at 11:03 am

      I still use free ZoneAlarm to, usually just to lock down apps/programs though. Nothing else seems to keep apps and programs inside like ZoneAlarm.

      I've heard windows defender is actually worth using now as your main protection. Avast and AVG are bloated as hell and hog a ton of ram. I've been using windows defender with zone alarm for a few months now without any issues. Overal system performance is a lot better too.

      • Godel
        May 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm

        I'm running Avast free on Windows 7 Pro now and Task Manager reports that it's using just under 12 MB of RAM and 1% or less of CPU when quiescent.

        As to CCleaner trying to install Avast, Avast owns purchased CCleaner and you're getting the program for free. By now any user of free stuff should be experienced in unticking boxes at install time to prevent programs downloading the kitchen sink. I vaguely recall that Avast were the ones who discovered the breach in CCleaner after the purchase of Piriform and announced it

        If you want an industrial grade and slightly scary cleaner I recommend Privazer, although a full scan and clean will take a long time the first time you run it. I run both CCleaner and Privazer.

  5. Tomas Bennett
    May 2, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for the information! Actually I just switched from tunnel to nordvpn few months ago but so far so good.. impressed that it's not that expensive and did not experience any buffers or speed drops (maybe because I have a good internet speed). A little hard to set up it on linux but their support helped.

  6. Tomm
    May 2, 2018 at 1:58 am

    Funny, I actually just switched from Tunnel to ExpressVPN a few weeks ago!