DO YOU USE FREE SOFTWARE? KNOW THE RISKS INVOLVED?
Have you ever downloaded FREE software? I’m sure that over 90% of us have downloaded free software! In this blog post we explain the risks involved and really what the true cost of free software is.
FREE rarely does mean FREE, you might not realise it but you might get more than you bargain for by downloading FREE software.
If you stop and think for a minute, how can FREE software really be FREE? How can someone create software spending their valuable time and not charge a penny for it?
If you are not paying you can often be the product, a lot of free software is monetised by advertisements that may appear on the software. This is very true of Apps / games on mobile devices where an advertisement appears whilst using it, or you may get an App or software request access to your data, files, contacts and location, making sense now?
The question to ask yourself here, do you mind giving a company access to your files? some larger well known organisations might make you trust them and they might treat your data in a responsible manner? How about someone that has developed an App or software that you have never heard of in your life?
This is where the FREE is reversed and your data, contacts location might be used for the developers own benefits, this might include your data being sold on for marketing purposes and gain or in more serious cases your data gets into the wrong hands such as scammers and identity thieves.
FREE SOFTWARE COMES WITH MORE THAN YOU THINK.
Most commonly FREE software installed on computers or laptops can be bundled with other free software, some might not be noticed but sit on your system, depending on the source of the software it might be software of a more sinister nature (Malware) which can compromise your system.
When installing software you should always check the option of a custom installation, this often will reveal the extra bundled software trying to be installed, often this can be toolbars and search boxes. These extras can often check and track your browsing habits, you can now see that everything labelled as FREE is not always FREE.
OUR ADVICE ON FREE SOFTWARE.
Do you really need the software or App?
Ensure you download from a reliable website.
Choose to install ‘ Custom Installation ‘ to prevent malware and other software being bundled with your download.
Decide whether you want to give the software or App access to your data.
Scan any downloaded software with adequate antivirus software to chck for malware and other nasties.