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You should get mad when software companies do this to you

Don’t tolerate it when software installs extra stuff on your computer without asking (or asking so sneakily that you didn’t know they asked).

One day we found every computer in our office was now running McAfee anti-virus, even though Norton is what we use, because a sleazy Java update snuck it in and installed it. Not acceptable. (McAfee paid Java to install it. Are they going to cover my costs to uninstall it?)

Watch out for:

Selfishness: When software sets itself up to run 100% of the time without asking, even when you only use their program occasionally. It’s selfish because they want their stuff to run better — at the expense of all of your other programs. They should ask first.

Extra stuff: Many webcams install all this software you don’t need when you plug in a webcam. It’s OK to offer, but they also have to tell you that their camera works fine with the built-in drivers that come with Windows.

Updaters: Many companies install something that runs every day, all day, using your resources — only to check for a small update monthly. It’s a good idea to have automatic updates, but ask first or combine it with Windows update.

Pushers: Using software updates to get you (or trick you) into installing other programs. Updaters are for fixes, not a way for you to install a sales tool on my computer.

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  1. Heidi April 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I wondered how that had happened. Thank you for clearing up the mystery for me. I’m also pleased to know that someone else was as frustrated as I.

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