Sunday, September 16, 2012

Foistware - a BAD Example

Recently I read about the free video download and converter software FVD Suite. I thought some of it's functionality might be helpful so I downloaded and installed it.

And during installation it showed it's true colors. The Installer offered altogether FOUR pieces of typical foistware, some of it IMHO outright bad stuff. And on top of that it used a tricky switch of the method to avoid this unwanted stuff.

Here are the four installer windows that attempted to trick me into installing the additional junk.

1.  The first window has Quick Installation preselected. I am usually careful with my computer so I selected Advanced Installation. The switches to install Babylon were preselected and got greyed out immediately! That means I could not turn Babylon off anymore.  IMHO Babylon is outright CRAP! Pardon my French. it figures as translation software but why then do they need to change my default search engine and my browser's home page? Did I already say crap?

I had to switch back to Quick Installation; then I could remove the check marks in the three entries for Babylon and switch back to Advanced Installation. By then I was on high alert, trust me. 

2. The second window wanted my permission (naturally preselected!) to install Shop To Win and QwikLinx. I always think TANSTAAFL seeing this sort of garbage software.

This window required to deselect only one check mark.

3.  The third window offered PricePeep. See above, TANSTAAFL.

BUT: Since I wanted to avoid PricePeep this window required a change in the method to avoid the PricePeep gunk; I needed to click the Decline button. The graphic design of this and the next window is such that on first glance one might think that Decline would decline the installation of FVD Suite and thus click on Next Step. Which would be just the mistake the originators of this deceptive tactic want us to make. Decline affects PricePeep only. Tricky, tricky to say the least. 

4. Window #4 used the same method as #3, I had to click Decline to avoid getting WaJam installed.

Plus it had a graphic element resembling a check mark in a circle; only after reading the text behind this little thingy I realized what it meant.

That was this.

I hope you don't get bored by me repeating and repeating over and over again:
  • Take the time to read EVERY little window when installing downloaded software
  • Watch out for preselected check marks
  • THINK before you click
  •  When in doubt don't install what tries to trick you!
It is getting worse and worse every week; stay safe and keep your computer clean!

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