Free Software: How Not To Get More Than You Bargained For!

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 business applications.

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 programs."

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 Verizon Mobile.

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 burned.

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 resources: => http://www.freesoftwarecenter.com

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