Free? Not Really!
There are so many free programs/utilities available for download. Some of them are really good and some not so good, but the computing world loves them and rightfully so.
However free downloads are really coming to an end. We shouldn't complain because while we love free, the providers of free need to make money, just like everyone else.
I don't have a problem with the makers of free stuff making money. I DO have a problem with the way a lot of them try.
When a user downloads a 'free' program or utility, they are very often getting something else they probably didn't think they agreed to get.
When they installed the free program they probably didn't take the time to read all of the install screens. Big mistake!
Even if they did read the screens, the box marked (recommended) made them think they should or maybe they even think they have to agree to get the program.
Some screenshots. If you have installed some free programs or utilities they will probably look familiar to you.
In all fairness, not all of the program writers do try to get folks to agree to these add-ons that most users don't really want. A great many of them use some of the download sites like CNET, Download.com, or one of several other download providers. Some of these download providers add these foistwares on to the downloads and some may even do this without the program writers knowledge, although that does seem unlikely.
I have heard from some folks that even though they unchecked the unwanted stuff they got it anyway and had to hunt it all down to uninstall the foistware. I hope that practice doesn't become more prevalent, but I will be on guard.
It seems like everywhere we turn these days someone somewhere is out to get us, one way or another. The days of free wheeling and dealing on the Internet are fast coming to an end and we all need to be aware of that fact.
That toolbar that a free program wants to install? Spyware, plain and simple. Change your search engine? Takes you to places that pay to show high in your search. The Internet has become a revenue generator for the good guys and the bad guys.
Facebook is a prime example of 'free' is over. If you don't understand that your personal details and what you do on the Internet is valuable to a lot of folks you really need to 'wise up' and be very careful with what you do.