Avoiding Extras in Free Software

Scott’s First and Second Laws of Computing

  1. It is your responsibility to know what you are installing on your computer. When in doubt, Google (or the search engine of your choice) is your friend.
  2. READ SCREENS. DON’T AUTOMATICALLY CLICK BUTTONS
    (Next/Yes/Accept/Install/OK).

 

Free software is great. There are fantastic, free software tools and services that we use everyday. When dealing with “free” software, you have to be careful during installation or updating. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Watch out for those “extras” that come bundled with your main product. You don’t always want or need them. Continue reading

CryptoLocker

There is a new piece of nastiness going around right now called CryptoLocker that impacts Windows users. If you infect yourself, either by clicking a link in a phishing email or by visiting a site with the exploit, then all of your drives are scanned and data files are encrypted. Once they are encrypted, you can’t access them without the encryption key, which you have to pay the criminals to get.

This includes files on your physical hard drive or mapped network drives. Remember, syncing services like DropBox or Skydrive typically store files on your physical hard drive, so they would be encrypted in the event of an infection.

Continue reading