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HOW TO

FREE SOFTWARE: How NOT To Get More Than You Bargained For!
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-11-18

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    FREE SOFTWARE: How NOT To Get More Than You Bargained For!
    by William Riopelle

    I completed an experiment recently. I wanted to find out
    exactly what software I could get free on the Internet. My main
    focus was for software to include utilities and useful home
    business applications.

    I completed various searches for free software and related
    keywords on the leading search engines.

    What I found were thousands of web sites, proclaiming for you to
    be able to download software for free. Or at least a "try
    before you buy" basis.

    What I found was stunning.

    It seems once I downloaded a few of these free programs, my
    focus quickly changed from what I could get free to "How do I
    rid myself of the new problems that came with those free
    programs."

    WELCOME TO THE SPYWARE AGE!

    Once I downloaded some of these free programs. I noticed
    strange things happening to my computer. Pop-up windows were
    appearing out of nowhere. My browser was running slower than
    usual. And applications seemed to open and close a little
    slower than usual.

    Now when I would go to google to do a simple search, a popup
    window appeared advertising free minutes when I switch to
    Verizon Mobile.

    WERE THESE SCUMWARE SITES?

    Keep in mind that most of these places that I went to download
    free software programs were reputable, relatively safe places on
    the Internet. I say "safe" because they were not your typical
    borderline porn site or trashy site. You know, the kind of site
    where you would expect to be punished for visiting. A site where
    it's obvious that your computer will be inundated with spyware
    or a virus. Well, you get the picture.

    I WAS A VICTIM

    Even though I was careful about what I downloaded, I still got
    burned.

    I tried to only visit what looked like safe, reputable sites. I
    only downloaded programs that had legitimate reviews and a past
    user history. However, by the third free program that I
    downloaded, there were pop-up windows and programs automatically
    installing onto my computer. Some of them were from trashy sites.

    This resulted in me having to spend several hours scouring the
    Internet for Adware and Spyware removal programs. I managed to
    download several free spyware programs. I installed them onto
    my computer, and ran them in safe mode.

    When it was all said and done. I had spent four and a half
    hours using these spyware programs to scour my computer for
    spyware. It took me a half a day to finally rid myself of these
    pesky little programs.

    The purpose of this article is to help you from making this same
    mistake. Please exercise caution when you go to sites and begin
    downloading free software.

    Is the site reputable? Can you uninstall the program easily?

    I would suggest deciding if you really need a program before you
    download freeware or free software. Not all of them threaten
    your "computer well-being." But many do.

    It's kind of sad to have to think in those terms. However, in
    this day and age one can never be too careful.
    ----------------------------------
    About The Author:
    William Riopelle is an online computer consultant. His popular
    e-course provides a lot more information on free software
    resources:
    = http://www.freesoftwarecenter.com
    ----------------------------------

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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