Installation of Bad Programs
Often, when unknown programs appear on a client’s computer, it is due to the user, unknowingly, installing that program. In most cases, this is from freeware, or free software. The software itself may be 100% safe and even recommended by many big companies. Java is one of the many culprits of this practice.
The reason behind this, is of course, money. The company that produces this software has the desire to make money, so they provide a space in the installation of their software for another company to “sneak” in. They can get away with this because during the installation of the program, there is one page that says “Try this free software”. Most people do not notice this page, just clicking “Next, yes, agree, yes, next next done” and don’t notice that they agreed to install PC Optimizer Pro, My PC Backup, McAffee, agreed to change their homepage, to install Ask Toolbar, Bing Desktop, to name a few examples.
Then once those programs get installed, they start bringing in malicious software, such as Conduit, SafeSearch, View Password, key-loggers, all assortment of malicious software intent on harming you and your computer. And they can be quite difficult to remove once they nest themselves into your computer.
It is always recommended to read what you are clicking on the internet. Another prime example of a method users get infected, is through web based media players. You want to watch a video, so you click on a link, and it says you have to update Flash, Java, Media player, etc. Then for your convenience, they provide a link to directly download the update. How nice, you think to yourself. But that downloaded update is not an actual update. It is a malicious program that you just downloaded and installed onto your computer. Not knowingly of course, but you allowed it onto your computer because it tricked you.
Just like you receiving an email from your uncle, the Prince of Nigeria, who promises you endless fortune if you buy him a plane ticket to your country, these scams target the unknowing and the unsuspecting. The world of viruses, trojans, worms, malicious software out in the internet has changed drastically. No longer are people getting infected with malware for the sole purpose of just messing up your machine. Now your information is being stolen, your computer made part of a criminal network, lies being told to you so you pay them money.
Be careful out there, and read what you are clicking. Stay safe by following ZookaWare on twitter for helpful computer tips and tricks.