Knock Knock, who’s there?

Do you know who’s living with you in your house? Can people just come in and settle down in your living room without even asking you? I guess not. So why can they on your computer?

Asa Dotzler described in his blog this situation. You install a program you want (or don’t, but have to install, like iTunes). When you’re done with the installation, you figure out that not only the program you wanted was installed, but also another couple of programs you were never asked about. You didn’t give the permission, you didn’t want it, and you wasn’t even aware of it, but here they are. In your living room.

How to deal with that? Several options.

1. Look for reviews on line before installing a program. People usually find out about such behavior. If you decide you still want all the programs installed – go ahead and do it. Otherwise – read on.

2. After you’re done installing, check out what’s been installed. On your Windows machine, it would be in the “Add or Remove Programs” section of your “Control Panel”. Go through the list, and check what you don’t recognize. For plugins – check the plugins directory of your browser (for Mozilla – go to the Tools menu, select “Add-ons” and check the “Plugin” tab). Remove whatever you don’t like.

3. Don’t install programs that are notorious for this behavior. Boycott them. There are alternatives almost for everything, which are safer and cheaper. That’s the best way to signal to these program makers that they’re wrong.

Safe browsing,

Your Little Advisor.

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