Beware of Software "Extras"

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Offline Corrine

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Beware of Software "Extras"
« on: September 02, 2008, 09:07:23 AM »
Many software vendors are relying on users of their software blindly clicking Next -> Next -> I agree -> Next -> Finish.  Unfortunately, that action without reading what is offered at each click of "Next" and "I agree" has resulted in the surprise installation of a toolbar along with the software.  You may find the toolbar useful, you may not.   The problem is that you may not have noticed that the option to install the toolbar was pre-checked or, unfortunately, hidden under the guise of another name as a "security toolbar" of some sort.

Before installing a new or updating to a new version of your favorite software program, a quick check of the Installer's Hall of Shame at CoU will alert you to the potential installation.  Most importantly, of course, when installing software is to read the options presented on each screen before clicking "Next".

Similarly, when clicking "I agree" without reading the presented license agreement (EULA or End User License Agreement), you may find afterward that you agreed to the sharing of personally identifiable information or companion installations of potentially unwanted software.  If you find the language of the license agreement confusing or difficult to follow, consider EULAlyzer by Javacool Software: 

EULAlyzer can analyze license agreements in seconds, and provide a detailed listing of potentially interesting words and phrases. Discover if the software you're about to install displays pop-up ads, transmits personally identifiable information, uses unique identifiers to track you, or much much more.

Remember, it is your computer.  Protect your investment and pay attention to the options presented when installing software. 

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Offline BHowett

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Re: Beware of Software "Extras"
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 09:45:47 AM »
Nice post Corrine, I see it all to often, and a user will wonder where did this toolbar (or whatever) come from. Heck I remember a couple years ago before I got in to computer security and malware removal I use to do the same thing…. It really it important to read the license agreement  ;)