In this day and age of being always_connected to the Internet it's relatively easy to use popular search engines like Google or Microsoft's Bing to instantly find information. The same search engines can also be used to search for download links for free software, especially when you can't remember the web address of the true web site that provides download links to legitimate copies of the software you are looking for.
This can be a risky endeavor because these days many search results that appear in popular search engines point to fake sites that contain links to downloads of free software that will quickly fill your computer with all kinds of spyware, adware and even crippling viruses.
For example, let's say you just received a new computer but the only web browser installed is Microsoft's Internet Explorer. You are used to using Mozilla's Firefox web browser and prefer it over other web browsers. You are in a hurry and can't remember the exact web address needed to download a legitimate copy of Firefox so you launch Internet Explorer, navigate to Google, perform a keyword search for Firefox or Firefox download and click one of the many links displayed on the search results page. This directs you to a page that looks legitimate because it contains the familiar Firefox logo, a brief description and a button titled Free Download. You are in a hurry to get Firefox installed as quickly as possible so you click the button, wait for the download to complete and run the installer.
After clicking the Next button a few times it becomes apparent that what you just installed wasn't really what you were looking for because now you notice a window that looks like Firefox but is loaded with all kinds of pop-ups and toolbars for software you've never heard of and even pop-up notifications appearing in your lower-taskbar.
You quickly close the application and notice more suspicious behavior when Internet Explorer suddenly launches and it's homepage has been changed to a web site offering free software to help optimize your computer or a site indicating your computer is infected with a download link to more free software that promises to clean the infection.
At this point you throw your hands up and call your help desk or local IT person for help with cleaning up the mess. The result could be an hour or two to remove some annoying adware or longer because it's determined that your computer is infected with a destructive virus requiring a complete reinstall of the operating system.
This couldn’t have happened at a worse time because you had a lot of important work to complete and the time needed to fix the problem is really going to set you back!
To avoid problems like this and possible exposure to your employer’s computers take a few minutes to contact your help desk or local IT department for help with installing software on your computer. They may have local copies of the software you are looking for and will know how to obtain legitimate copies.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t be too quick to click! In the event that you are too quick to click and contract a virus, VLCM is here to help. Contact us for your hardware repair and virus removal needs. Click below to learn more.