Five Part Series – Part IV – Downloading Free Apps
Another area of Internet use that new users often run into issues with is downloading free software. The Internet is filled with really cool free web apps, free services and applications that you can download and install on your computer. Most of the time these applications are completely safe to download, but other times they are infected with viruses, malware or adware that you want nowhere near your computer.
You can play it safe by first researching the software that you want to download to make sure it’s safe. Even though, there are a few roadblocks you’ll run into even when you’re downloading legitimate free software.
The first problem is that the sites where you can get the free software are oven very manipulative about how you actually go about downloading the software itself. Even a legitimate, credible website like CNET has six buttons on the download page that appear to be a legitimate download link, styled just like every other download button on the site.
Only one of the download links is actually legit. Can you guess which?
The secret is to hover over the button and make sure the link it goes to (displayed in the browser status bar) isn’t linking to some ad network, and that it goes to another CNET download page.
An even worse website than this is Softpedia, which places legitimate download buttons dangerously close to the Ad download buttons.
Most ad links on the page also look like they could be links to download the software you’re looking for. They’re not.
Then, on the actual download page, none of the “Download” buttons are actually legit. The download page is actually the “External Mirror” link – which doesn’t stand out nearly as much as those big green Download buttons.
It’s obviously a technique to trick visitors into inadvertently clicking on ads instead of clicking on the legitimate download links. Google, in all its wisdom, still hasn’t done anything to punish larger websites and companies like CNET that still put this sort of ad trickery into practice on its website.
So, be aware that this goes on, and carefully analyze where those buttons link to before actually clicking on them.
Sourced from makeuseof.com