Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Reading installation instructions carefully, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- There are two strategies you can do when downloading and installing software. The first one is to make sure you're downloading the right file. And the second strategy is to make sure you're not installing any other unwanted software at the same time. Let's first make sure that we're downloading the right file. I'm on cnet.com trying to download a program called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I've talked about that in a previous video. Cnet.com is a reputable and safe site to download from. However, sometimes it's a little hard to try to make sure you're downloading the right file.
I'm on their page right now, and I can see no less than three Download links to download a piece of software. Two of them are gonna take me to an unwanted piece of software. One of them is gonna take me to the right piece of software. What we need to do is look very carefully on the page. At first glance, it looks like you're gonna wanna click the first big Download button that you see. However, looking at it a little bit more closely, you can see that it's outlined by a rectangle.
It's the same shape as a regular ad banner. And if I look at the bottom right-hand side, I can see that everything that's in this rectangle is a link to an ad for a piece of software called Tuneup Pro. So if I click this Download button, it's gonna instead download this other piece of software. It's the same with this square ad. I can see that an identical ad banner that looks exactly like this rectangle one is contained here within that square, and if I look at the bottom right-hand side again, I can see that it's going to download Tuneup Pro.
Now, the right piece of software is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Directly underneath that, this is the only real Download link for that piece of software. So before you click on a Download link, if there's multiple buttons that say Download, be sure to take a few seconds and glance around the page, and scrutinize it to make sure that you're really downloading the right file. Now, the second strategy is to make sure that you're not installing any unwanted piece of software after you've downloaded it.
Now, I can't use Malwarebytes as an example for this because Malwarebytes will never include any piece of software that you didn't ask for. In fact, what Malwarebytes does is remove any software that may have been installed by mistake. I do have a different install program running already, though, I've got Java running, and this may look like a typical install scenario. When you're installing a piece of software, you'll get the dialog in the middle of the screen, there'll be an Install button, I'll click on that now. And usually you can go through and click Next, accepting any defaults or changing anything as you want, until the piece of software is installed.
But what you need to do is, like that download page, take a few minutes on every screen and make sure that you're not going to install any piece of software that you didn't ask for. This is a very common scenario. We'll get this pop-up, where we could just keep clicking Next and install the software. It's also telling us here that it's gonna do a few more things to our computer. It's saying that by clicking Next, it's gonna install these programs and a search app on my computer.
What I can do in this case is uncheck "Set and keep Ask as my default search provider." And I'm also going to uncheck "Set and keep Ask.com as my browser home page." I don't want this other piece of software on my home page. In fact, it tells me right here that "Deselecting both of the check boxes "declines this optional offer and proceeds "with the rest of the install process." That means that in addition to not making any changes that I didn't ask for, when I uncheck both of these options, it's not gonna install this extra piece of software that I didn't want.
So it's very important to read these steps before clicking Next. A lot of times this is the major way that most unwanted software gets on your computer, because we put it there without realizing it, or clicking Next on an install too quickly. So we can first make sure that we download the right file, and then we need to make sure that we're only installing what we really want to install.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings