There are all types of freeware sites out there which offer freebies of all sorts. Need some graphic applications? Plenty of freeware available. Looking for an office type of application? Loads to choose from. Anti-Spyware? Well, if you read this blog for any length of time or have visited my forum or website, you know better to only trust what you find on Trustworthy Anti-Spyware List by Eric Howes, or some others recommended in our forums.
You should never blindly DL freeware. Always try and look for a reliable source, a friend you know who may be into security or someone of that nature.
If you don't know someone (now ya do, ME!) then Google the freeware, see what others may have to say about it. If there is a company name on it, along with the title, Google the company. With some minimal researching, you should be able to find some info on it or the freeware. There are a few reliable sources of freeware:
There are many more, and you can also visit FreewareWiki for an amazing list of freewares that have been tried and tested through and through.
And you can always drop a note about anything you find in my
Freeware Research forum.
To see what can happen when you don't pay much attention to those freebies read the following detailed freeware DLs and what other 'freebies' came with them:
SpywareGuide: Game Installs Malware
The potential for abuse in freeware is fairly high. Do the right thing by exercising caution before DLing that neat screensaver or game. It could turn out to be the biggest mistake you have made.
DL Tip: For a more concise, tho not foolproof way to check a file before you install it, save it to your desktop and run it thru a file checker such as Jotti or KAV Online File Checker.
Both of these will scan the file for any nasties.