Downloading Software and getting more than you bargained for!

With personal computers and your general knowledge primarily in mind, here are a few tips to help alleviate frustration and avoid disaster (or prevent sensitive data being comprised) when installing programs on your Windows system.

The web is littered with traps for users when downloading software, from fake “Download” buttons that are actually advertisements to installers full of bundled toolbars and other adware.

Learning how to avoid the trap falls is an important skill in today’s digital world.


Don’t let your computer end up like this!



I know we touched on avoiding the “fake” download buttons already by using Ad Block, so I will focus these tips on the setup wizards and installers!


Often even before the download is started there are options to avoid (mostly you will be presented with them during the installation process itself).

Installation wizards will/can ask you about various offers and additional software to be installed at the same time, quite often these are already ticked and must be unticked to avoid you being caught out.


Here are some good examples;


Pre Download



You will likely have anti-virus program already, you don’t want two running on your system at once, this can cause major performance issues and system conflicts.


During the installation wizards



Do you really want to have your default search engine changed from Google? Do you know how to change it back?



This will even change your home page on top of your default search, it will also add toolbars to all browsers installed on your system!



Who knows what errors this software will report, I’m guessing you will have to pay for the full version to fix them (Don’t)!



Although not particularly harmful (Dropbox), If you don’t need it, don’t install it, it’s just another program taking up your system resources!



Please take a couple extra seconds when clicking on your computer whilst doing any installations!



The latest Adware catastrophe comes from (IBM) Lenovo, who managed to bundle software onto computers that effectively meant that even HTTPS traffic to websites was comprised via a third party.

These are issues that you must be aware of, especially in times where internet banking and online payments are part of everyday accepted life!




If you are ever unsure about whether additional programs have been installed on your system afterwards, please check.


You can do this by looking in Start > Control Panel > Programs & Features, set the view by installed on (date).



If you right click on the program you do not want and select uninstall you will be guided through a wizard to remove the software, but even then please read what you are accepting and clicking on, a few uninstallers in my experience will take you to survey sites and even install other software during the process.


Please be careful when removing “unknown” software from your computers, searching for the software in Google is a good step to take, you don’t want to uninstall your wireless manager for example (just because you don’t know what it was called)!

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