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
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
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
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
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