Have you ever opened your Internet browser only find a new toolbar installed and a random homepage opening up? Or discovered a program on your computer that you never installed? If so, then you’d be surprised to know that it probably got onto your computer by piggybacking on legit software you intended to install. At times we are in too much of a hurry and click next to every dialogue box. Avoid installing bundleware to make sure that you don’t accidentally install malware or spyware.
Sneaking extra software applications in through program installers is nothing new. It happens most often with free software where the author can get some revenue from partner developers for bundling their applications into the freeware installer.
You will have always given your permission for extra software to be installed, although that condition is usually buried in the small print. A common example of this sort of bundling is one or more toolbars appearing unexpectedly on your web browser. These can take up more and more space on the screen and turn into a major annoyance even if they aren’t doing anything malicious.
Many software installers give you the option of an Express or Custom option. Most of us want an easy life, so it’s tempting to pick Express. However, this is the way the installer gets to install whatever optional extras it likes. Check out our free Windows downloads. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of always clicking Custom. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean the installation will be difficult. You will usually end up simply clicking through a few default options without having to enter anything complicated, but you’ll also be given the option to turn off any options you don’t want installed.
Always be on the lookout when downloading free software, always triple check on what boxes are checked before clicking next.