Free software (freeware) is a mixed bag. There's a lot of good stuff out there and a lot of bad and sometimes the bad stuff looks like it should be good: "PC Cleaner," "PC Optimizer," “Registry Cleaner” or similar names can masquerade as sounding like a legitimately good program. Sometimes the software is fine, but it downloads another program that could compromise your system or just slow it down. If you download, read those pages as you click "next" and see what it is you're agreeing to. Uncheck that little box that says, "Install XYZ toolbar." Many of the “free” computer utilities will perform a scan for free but then charge you to perform the repair. Often these scan results are simply false; they want you to think your computer has a problem, so you’ll buy their product. In reality, your system is probably okay.
Free software can also be a good thing. Most software companies offer a free trial, many times with no function restrictions. This allows you to test and use the program without having to pay for it. In addition, many programs are available free for personal use. This means that as long as you don’t use the software in a business environment or for profit, you don’t need to purchase licensing.
Some sites with free games are okay, but some will download lots of unlovely things and compromise your computer's security. You must be discerning where you can play safe free games, and if you don’t know, go buy some games at your local computer store or on other trusted source.
Although MSN, Yahoo and Facebook are well known and have free games to play, it doesn’t mean that the sites are necessarily safe. The game may be fine, but the advertisements could lead you to another site that is unsafe. Be very wary of ads and download links!
Whether you pay or play for free, always be careful about what you click on. When installing software of any sort, always read the “fine print.” Games are free because someone is paying to advertise to you. Un-check the optional software, it’ll save you headaches!
Going to an adult site or clicking on their ads is one of the fastest ways to get an infection on your system. Not only is it bad for your computer, it also has huge drawbacks in regard to what you're allowing your eyes to see and will make you less satisfied with the real relationships in life that are supposed to bring you joy. Just don't do it. Stay far away from adult sites. PERIOD! Yellowstone Computing can offer recommendations if you want to protect your computer, family, and Internet browsing to avoid this content.
In conclusion, make sure you have a “clean” source when you download “free” things or you may wish you had. If you download a file, scan it with your antivirus program before running it. If you have questions about whether your computer is compromised or if the sites you’re visiting are safe, contact us and we’ll help you!