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How to Download Programs without Downloading Spyware

By August 5, 2013March 6th, 2023Technology News


Times have changed, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean attempts to hack your computer are gone. While computer security has gotten stronger in the past decade, so have viruses, spyware, and trojans. Even though you have never tried to download spyware, chances are you’ve had your search engine changed once or twice, or had too many search bars at the top of the screen. If you’re not sure about how this kind of thing happens, reading on might be a good idea.

Make Sure You Know What You’re Downloading

Looking for a new background for your laptop, or maybe an entertaining screen saver? While there are lots of legitimate sources out there for this type of thing, a lot of the first “hit” sites on places like Google and Bing have some sort of tracking program that comes with every download. Sometimes it’s a sponsor, like, that packages a tool bar or search engine change with your download, and unless you know where to look, you’ll accidentally download something much bigger than just a nice wallpaper.

When you visit websites that require you to download something to your computer, or you’d like to install a new program that you’ve never installed before, make sure to check the “advanced” area. Sometimes the advanced area is something as simple as a few checked boxes for extra installations, and all you have to do is uncheck them before you download.

Beware of the Word “Free”

There are legitimate free websites for just about anything, but including the word “free” in your search can often bring up spam sites before anything else. For example, Googling “free pictures” or “free virus protection” sometimes brings up programs that will either cost you money (after something of a free trial) or will include bundled adware. Make sure you do your research before clicking on any link you see in Google that has “free” attached to it – a good antivirus program can verify if the site is safe or not, and another Google search can show you if anyone has had any issues in the past.

In the end, it’s about using your common sense as a business owner and making sure you always check and recheck anything you choose to install on a personal or business computer.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.