Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Adobe Flash 11.4 update opens browser for download

Today when I started the computer I received the usual Adobe Flash update. What I thought was unusual is Internet Explorer opened and took me to the page to download Adobe Flash. Normally people will click on the download and install the update. Next time you get this type of update, pause for a moment and read the screen.

The problem is companies like Adobe not only install their software, but they also install other company’s software. In this case if you just accepted the install, you’d also end up installing the Google Chrome browser.

I regularly visit clients who have installed software and toolbars without knowing how they did it. Earlier versions of Google toolbars for example caused issues with using a Google search designed for American users and not Australian users, so people would get results they didn’t expect. The pop-up blocker on the Google toolbar would cause sites not to work resulting in a technical support call. Earlier versions of Google Chrome also damaged links in Outlook emails so there is good reason to be careful with the software you install as a result of a free download.

Adobe gets paid by Google to trick people to install software they don’t realise they’re installing and people then end up with software on their computer they may not want or need. The software industry is full of this type of trickery and unfortunately for the average user, it ends up slowing their computer down, confusing them, and often resulting in an unnecessary support call.

Next time you get the option to install software from the internet, make sure you read the information on the screen. Deselect any options presented that you don’t want. Most computers I see have been “infected” with legitimate software which can cause the computer to operate in an unexpected way. Free software often comes at a price, you just need to find out what the real price is and make sure you know what you are receiving. If you’re receiving free software or a free service then keep in mind you aren’t the customer. The customer is the organisation paying the money and that often means your interests aren’t being given the top priority.


Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

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