Don't Be Too Quick To Click

When you know your way around a personal computer you can get tasks done at lighting speeds. But speed can also be a curse if you're too quick to click when doing some fairly basic things.

Take downloading a different web browser for example. You might want a different one to the one that came already installed on your personal computer, or you might not have got a machine with one installed in the first place. Firefox used to be the alternative internet browser of choice for many millions of users but these days it's been superseded by Google Chrome or you might prefer Apple Safari.

There's many places you can get such software from and if you're not careful you might get more than you bargained for when you download it. All manner of internet nasties have been known to be included with such standard installations when obtained from less than kosher sources.

If you don't read every screen through every step of the download and install process you might end up downloading more than you bargained for. Either bloatware, which is extra software you simply didn't bargain for, or spyware, which harvests your browsing history and personal information and fires it off to who know who who knows where.

The best thing to do is ensure you get such software from genuine and official websites such as:

www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/ for Firefox www.google.com/chrome for Google Chrome www.apple.com/nz/safari/ for Safari. Adobe's Acrobat Reader software, for reading PDF files, is also an essential piece of software for most computer users. But even from the genuine download page, get.adobe.com/reader/, you'll find the boxes to install both the Google Chrome web browser as your default internet browser and install the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer are selected. This is all well and good if you actually want either or both of those, but if you don't then you are using up both valuable internet bandwidth in the download as well as hard disc drive space in the installation.

Be sure to read what boxes you are ticking before you install.

Other genuine software installations do similar things, regardless whether you have purchased such software on optical disc like DVD or Blu-ray or are downloading the installation files from the internet.

If such practices are common place with genuine software you actually want imagine how fraught with danger downloading less than kosher software is.

Pirated versions of such software mainstays of Microsoft Windows or Office have been known to be bundled with dodgy software. Not only may the pirated software keep bugging you to buy the genuine article but you may be sharing your private information with anyone and your machine could even be held to ransom by cyber criminals remotely.

So the moral of the story is to be sure that where you are getting your software from is legitimate. If you're not sure Google or Bing it. Then take your time in installing it, being sure you are only installing the components you want.

Anything else is a waste of time, bandwidth and hard disk drive space.

Need A Nerd

Need A Nerd, 201 Pakowhai Rd, Hastings, Hawke's Bay, 4120, New Zealand