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So I get these questions quite a lot recently from friends or family. And I thought this could be a good question for Security Exchange, because I couldn't find this kind of question here.

I recieved questions like:

Should I install program 'x' promising me to clean files from my computer?

A few examples: 'Dr. Cleaner [mac], Cleanmaster [Android], CCleaner [Windows]'

I always advise against, because I feel like there are security risks involved. You give lots of privileges to applications that have no real benefit, since most of this is built into the OS anyway

Am I right in this assumption?

  • All three operationg systems you mentioned are being developed since centuries (android is based on linux software). These systems are self-cleaning. I personally distrust any cleaning software. Why should they be better at cleaning a system than the people who build the system itself? All the tools you will ever need are packaged with your operating system (at least when you use windows, mac, and one of the big linux distros - i cannot generalize this for all operating systems) – BlueWizard Jun 4 '17 at 22:09
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Sure, we have all the possible cases here:

  • Legitimate software that really try to clean your system without infecting you with malware or any other purpose.
  • Malware disguised as cleaning software what try to steal information from you or just trojanize your computer to be part of a botnet or other similar "evil" purpose.
  • "Grey" software that really clean your sytem but in addition have a "side effect". Usually this kind of software is not "real bad malware"... sometimes they only are what we can call "light malware" trying to steal non-sensitive info like banking data, they only steal statistics or general info and that kind of things (anyway is a violation of your privacy).

In my opinion if a computer needs a clean, it depends of the grade of the problem. Sometimes the best choice is to format and reinstall an entire clean system. If is a little problem sometimes there are tools that work very well but you must be pretty sure about that software and its procedence (sometimes is the hardest part).

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