How Free is that “Free” Software?

October 19, 2010

My mother always says that nothing is free.  How many times have you found some cool software program on the internet that is free, only to discover that once the program was installed, it installed some other things that you may not have wanted on your computer?  The so-called “free” program may of been bundled with toolbars, additional software, malware and spyware.

Nearly any software program that is advertised as “free”, “freeware” or “shareware” typically has some other software or advertising built in to the package.

Many free software programs will install internet toolbars on your browser.  Using these toolbars will direct you to sites that the software company would like you to visit.  Add enough toolbars to your browser, and suddenly, your high speed internet can become as slow as dial-up.

Some software is bundled with spyware or malware programs.  These may cause pop-up advertisements, re-directs on your internet searches, or worse.

So how can we avoid installing unwanted programs while still taking advantage of the free stuff out there?  CUSTOM INSTALL! When installing the free software, make sure you read everything before clicking next.  Also, if there is an option for custom install or options, be sure to go that route.  You can usually remove the free toolbars and other things you don’t want installed.

Also, we recommend NOT selecting options for the software to “automatically check for updates”.  Leaving that option available means yet another software program will be running in the background, eating up the memory on your computer.

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