When browsing the web for free software, it is important to read the fine print when you are in the install process. There is no such thing as completely free software. Someone somewhere is paying the bill for any and all free software on the internet. Typically it is installed with check boxes that appear during the install process with messages such as, “I agree to install secure search with the install of my free software.” I see it every day. Someone’s internet browser is hijacked through adware due to not reading the fine print during an install of whatever “free” software they obtained. The most common question is “Why didn’t my antivirus software remove that if it is malicious in nature?” The answer to that question is simple, anti-viral software does not protect you from yourself.
When installing “free” software from any location, it is important that you read thru some of the fine print to avoid adware installs. The publishers of the “free” software oftentimes have agreed to include certain adware in with their software packages to help pay for the “free” software. This is done by placing a check box that asks for your permission to install such adware. If you continually click the “Next” button without reading the text that is near this check box, then you have agreed to have this potentially harmful software installed on any and all browsers on your machine. Since you have now agreed to install the Adware on your computer, the anti-viral software that you are using will no longer consider it as an active threat! If you agreed to install the adware, the anti-viral software does not see it as an exploit or spam, and takes no action no matter how many times you scan. There are programs out there that can detect and remove any and all PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) from your windows install that are free to try. They will even offer you a limited version of the program, but those have check boxes all over the place during the install process. It is imperative that you read through or at least skim any EULA before you click the next button to ensure that there are no surprise installs awaiting you in the end result. It’s hard to tell if it is a legit advertisement, if it is going to give you a Trojan or Malware, or something even worse that might require a professional like me to remove. Next time you are thinking about downloading free software, remember to pay close attention to the fine print, and always read what is next to any checkbox during the installation process.
I hope you have found this post both informative and useful! Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns about your computer issues right here on the site.