Download Safely

The best way to download safely is to make yourself into an informed consumer.

  • Learn what’s OK to download, and what isn’t.
  • Protect your PC with an antimalware product, from a known publisher.
  • Download only from the author’s web site.
  • Watch out for fake sites and associate sites.

A PUP is a Potentially-Unwanted Program

Malware was simpler decades back. We had clarity. It was all bad. Now, we have 'PUP's. That's an acronym for 'potentially-unwanted program.' McAfee, Inc, created that label some years back, and probably did it in their legal department. I can imagine...

Case Study: Offers and Wrappers

This entire page of "wrappers" and "offers" is from one installation of a free trial version of Microsoft Word that came from a popular download site, NOT from Microsoft. Note the generic installer provided by the wrapper program. Microsoft isn't the...

Monetizer & Wrapper Glossary

If you’re trying to install one program that does one thing, and you download a free trial or a free tool, and then you see that three new programs have been added to your computer, you’ve been monetized. The program you downloaded, or the download por...

Monetizers: The Business Model

Monetizers, or monetization, applies to both programs and web sites. Basically, it's a method of making money on something free, using a third party to provide advertising (for web sites), or to bundle programs to install as "recommended" or "bonus" products...

Wrapper Screenshot Gallery

Know what you're installing. Always. If you've chosen to install a video program, and a screen appears that's installing a security product, stop. Or a Flash update offers an install of Mcafee Security Scan Plus, stop--that's an advertisement, and...