Finding free or inexpensive software on the Internet is easy. Finding quality software and reducing the risk of infecting your computer, on the other hand, presents many challenges.
There are questions which need to be answered before downloading and installing any software, such as;
- What are the software’s requirements and will it run on my PC?
- Is the software virus and malware free?
- How do I know the installation hasn’t been tampered with by a third party?
- Is the website I am downloading the software from a security risk?
- When I install the software, will it install other software as well?
- Will it keep nagging me to buy an upgrade or register the program?
- Do I have to give out my email address or other personal details to download it?
- Is the software kept up to date and will I know when new versions are available?
- If I have a question, is there good documentation I can rely on to answer it?
- Does the software have good reviews on the Internet?
Getting answers to these questions isn’t always easy but the software’s author or download site should be forthcoming with most of this information. A lot of this information may also be obtained via a Bing search.
Once you have the answers to these questions and you are satisfied, then you should be able to reduce the risk of downloading and installing software. Don’t forget to scan the downloaded file(s) for viruses / malware using reputable software, specifically designed for this purpose.
Want to learn more? Check out these excellent books on computer security.
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