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home : columns : columns July 21, 2017

6/4/2014 2:36:00 PM
Tricky software

Rick Frederickson
Computer Technician

A couple of incidents this week prompt me to remind you to:
• Read Your screen. If you don't you will get stuff you don't want.
• Don't download free stuff unless you've verified it is safe. Nearly all free stuff isn't safe.
Incident No.1 involves a nearly new computer that was purchased less than a month ago from us. I found it infested with unwanted programs. The culprit? A user who wanted to download videos from YouTube. The user needed a video downloader and converter to take the videos from YouTube and put them on their computer. They located a free one which I assume they found from Google or some other search page. Unfortunately, because it was free it came bundled with lots of other junk programs that slowed down the new computer and made it nearly impossible to use. Here's another related tip: Most free weather programs do the same thing.
Incident No. 2 pertains to AVG Antivirus free. AVG is a legitimate free antivirus. It is not bad for a free antivirus but it is not as good as paid antivirus software. However, lots of people still use AVG. But you have to remember that AVG still needs to make money. It doesn't provide free antivirus out of the goodness of its heart. So antivirus will have an update every 6 months or so whereby if you don't read the screens carefully you will be switched to a free trial version of its paid software, AVG Internet Security. It is also decent protection, but you have to pay for it just like Norton or McAfee.
The bottom line is that free is tricky and potentially unsafe. Pay attention to what you are doing and read every screen. Otherwise you will probably end up with something you don't want.

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