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home : columns : columns May 28, 2016

12/4/2013 9:16:00 AM
Free isn't always free

Rick Frederickson
Computer Technician

The good news? We are seeing fewer actual viruses right now. The bad? We are seeing many computers that are slowed to a crawl because of free junk programs.
Customers often complain, "Why didn't my antivirus stop them?"
The answer is, they are not viruses. Furthermore, you, or someone using your computer, put them there.
So how did they get there? Many times they come bundled with "free" software you download. Looking for free music? A free video downloader? Even free anti-malware software? Then chances are you will get junk on your computer.
Remember, 99% of free software isn't available because someone has a generous heart. It is there because someone wants to eventually sell you something.
They can do this best by bundling free software with trial or other junk software for which someone has paid them.
They count on the fact that most computer users are not discerning enough to weed out the good from the bad. And most computer users don't bother to read about what they are getting. They just click away.
If you search for something, read the URL address in the search engine before you click on it and download.
An example: A customer of mine wanted a legitimate anti-malware scanner. They searched for it. They clicked on the first link in which it was listed.
It was not the author's site. It was another site that took the legitimate software and bundled it with a bunch of junk.
The customer ended up with a bunch of junk on his computer.
Be careful out there!

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