When you do a search for something you’d like to download, you likely find several links. It’s always good to look for the actual creator in the address to verify it’s the real version. Notice on this screenshot for my search of Avast (an antivirus program) download the first two are from avast.com, but the third is from download.com.
Downloading from the main source can reduce the risk of extra programs being added. But not always. More on that later on. First, let’s take a look at how you may be tricked into this software installation.
Let’s say I want to download a program called Magic Camera (just an example, I didn’t test the program itself, so this is not an endorsement to download it). I did a web search and found a site to download it from. I click on Download now, ignoring the little blue “Direct Download link” that’s so tiny I missed it.
This just goes to show you to be careful what you download. Read ALL those windows, don’t just blindly accept. But also, be careful when you uninstall. When testing these installation techniques, I downloaded a program called Drive Boost (again, not a promotion for the software.) When installing I saw this window at the end of the installation.
I saw that tiny little check mark that tried to get me to install an additional program, but I was smart enough not to leave that checked! Once I decided I didn't need the program, I went to uninstall it and saw this window:
But it’s not just downloads from small companies, big business suck us in too. Have you run a Java update lately? We recommend keeping it up to date, but be careful, because every time you update, you will see this screen:
This type of software can be added to any installer, even well known companies. Just be careful where you download from, and read those dialog boxes and windows that come up to be certain what you are installing. It’s easy to get fooled but now you will be wiser to these tactics.
There is another way of stopping these assorted programs from entering your system. This program is called Unchecky. You can download it from here http://unchecky.com/
Basically Unchecky stops installers which try to push additional unwanted programs onto your computer.
If you have installed programs such as those above (prior to installing Unchecky), then our advice, is to run your malware removal program. These programs WILL infect your machine, causing it to become slower and slower.
We are often asked “How did those programs get installed on my computer, as I didn’t install anything”. Well this just goes to show exactly how easy it is to do. So please be careful.