Something I despise is when I go to a site to read up on what I was searching for and get handed a bait-and-switch. In this case, I searched for ‘spyware removal software’. This site came up and before I could get to the subject matter, I was blasted with this misleading ad (in the yellow circle below), asking me to download and run a program to speed and clean up my PC! Someone who’s stressed out about a potential infection, might not take the time to read all the fine print and click and download and get who knows what on their computer.
The actual information I wanted to read is below the image. Notice the double underlined words in the paragraph. I hate these too as they are simply linked to an ad that most likely has nothing to do with what I’m reading about.
The author also put in a windows icon to make the article look more respectable and believable (in my opinion). He goes on to list some advanced software people can use to get rid of spyware. This writer is probably an honest person with useful information on the site. But the ads and the double underlines seem smarmy to me and my trust factor automatically goes down at sites like these.
Even the big name sites, like CNET and Computerworld do this same thing. If you’re referred to one of these sites for downloads, be very careful that you’re at the right spot and clicking the right link, otherwise, you’ll be getting something you don’t want – it’s probably (hopefully), not a malicious program, but it’s not what you came there for and it takes time to read and sort everything out.
Who To Trust
If you’re a regular (not advanced), computer user, you know the most common names, such as Norton and McAfee. I really don’t recommend them because you have to pay for them and they’ve had a reputation of being resource hogs. There are some very good free anti-spyware/malware programs out there too. Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG, Spybot Search & Destroy are trustworthy programs. You can get trusted links to all of these and more at Kim Komando’s site. Her site has hundreds of tips, downloads and how-tos for the beginner computer user. Remember not to run more than one anti-virus program at a time – they don’t like that!
Below is a hyperlinked picture that will take you to AVG’s most current Rogue’s Gallery of the bad software out there. This is updated continuously. You could also visit any of the above mentioned software websites (make sure you’re at the right one), as just about all of them have a warning page alerting you to new threats.
When you’re searching for information and/or looking to download a new program, take your time to read and click carefully: make sure you’re on the real page for downloads, start at trusted sites, like Kim Komando or Download.com.