If it has happend once, it has happened a 100 times.
I love helping people out and often I get asked to fix someones computer. I am more into the security then I am the actual desktop support but I try to do what I can to help others since I was provided this ability. Given that, I find searching for tools can lead one into even more malware headaches. I can't tell you how many times I have downloaded more malware\adware trying to fix malware on a system. I swear I watched for the little boxes to uncheck but somehow, someway, i missed one or two along the process.
Four online rules to guide you:
1. When you find an official website of the tool, immediatley bookmark it for future use. Freebie download sites, even those that have a very good reputation and intend to take you to a safe site might otherwise take you to sites that have been hacked tricking you into downloading more than you were expecting. Don't rely on your memory to get you back to the site months later. The mind plays funny games.
2. Take your time reading the little information boxes to uncheck any additional checked downloads that you were not intending to download. Often these items are printed in small font or hiding in one of the several download boxes you have to click on.
3. Make sure the .exe file that is installing your tool is the correct .exe tool. When in doubt, you can type the filename into the search engine and most often will find information regarding that file.
4. Find a search engine that more often then not, provides you with well known official websites at the top of the list versus well known\popular freebie download sites.Take some time evaluating your search engine choices. You might be surprised with the results. Many are very compatible but one may provide you with better choices that fit your particular needs. I prefer a search engine that doesn't prompt, entice or sways me to downloading more than I wanted or needed. I limit my online memberships for any one company. Variety is the spice of life and monopoly is a game where hoarders win by controling and manipulating it's opponents.
5. If you have to click more then 3 to 4 times before the install starts (Run, accept license, install - basic events), you should be suspicious, pay close attention to what is installing and stop the install if you are suspicious of the activity. Go to the Control Panel/Program Features (win7) or Add/Remove programs (winxp), sort by install date and remove anything you did not intend to install on that date (do not uninstall updates to applications like critical patches)
What was really embarassing as a mother was calling my son to tell him that the good reputation company he worked for in IT Networking had been subject to malware downloads. Every malware file included in the ONE download file I needed had his companies name at the end of the URL. They were quick to resolve that issue.
Message was edited by: Ex_Brit on 15/07/13 9:56:19 EDT AM