It’s been a while since my last post. Thank you to my clients who are keeping me busy! I wanted to remind everyone to make sure that when you are downloading “free” software, that you need to make sure to always choose the Custom or Advanced installation. 99% of the time, when you choose the Typical or Recommended installation, you will be loading all sorts of other programs and there’s a huge risk of downloading malware.
Here’s a real life example. I needed a color identifying program so that I could match the colors from one of my client’s website to her new newsletter which I am creating. Someone told me about ColorCop.net. I started to download their software. I immediately chose the “Advanced” download, and see that the first thing they want to install on my is a Delta Toolbar. WARNING WILL ROBINSON – do not install this onto your PC – ever. I had to hire someone to clean up my PC after I made this mistake. So, was I safe in proceeding after I unchecked the boxes? No. It then proceeded to tell me that it would install several other programs, including TopArcade. I had to quickly cancel the installation, and do a check of all the programs that were installed on my PC today. I had to uninstall each of them and ensure that they were completely gone.
I still needed the program, so I went to CNet.com. I love this site, as they have a lot of shareware choices. I found another program, “JustColorPicker” that is similar to ColorCop; it offers RGB, HEX and HTML color code identification. I proceeded with the download, and again made sure to choose Custom Set Up. Again, the site was going to download a toolbar if I did not uncheck those options. Once I hit “next step” there were other programs that it would have installed, had I not clicked “Decline”. At least this download offered me the choice to Decline these options.
I am now using Just Color Picker, and the program is working to my liking. The morale of the story is to BE CAREFUL. If your PC security comes up with a warning window, do not ignore it! Even if you really, really want the program/functionality, try to find an alternative program. Chances are, there’s one out there.
I am the queen of cheap, but I have learned my lesson in willy-nilly downloading. Stay alert and have a good antivirus program.
Best wishes, Lora Zibman
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