Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Rashid Hassan
At present, you can download software for almost every task that you need to perform on the computer. These software can save you a lot of time and hard work. They can do hours of work in seconds.
But with advantages there come some threats. There are many threats like malware, virus, and ransomware on the internet in the disguise of useful software. So, whenever you download software on your computer you need to take extra precautions to stay safe.
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Here in this article, I am going to explain 11 things that you should always consider before downloading software on your PC.
- 1 11 Things to Consider Before Downloading A Software:
- 1.1 1. Check for Viruses
- 1.2 2. Download from Trustworthy Source
- 1.3 3. Ask Google
- 1.4 4. Check Expert and User Reviews
- 1.5 6. Search for Alternatives
- 1.6 7. Use a Robust Antivirus Program
- 1.7 8. Avoid Downloaders and Installers
- 1.8 9. Check Carefully While Installing the Software
- 1.9 10. Check for Offers
- 1.10 11. Be a Cart Abandoner:
11 Things to Consider Before Downloading A Software:
1. Check for Viruses
Before you download a program you must check it for viruses. There are multiple programs available that can check viruses for free. These programs are online so, you don’t even need to download a program for this.
Some of the popular online virus checker programs are-
- F-Secure Online Virus Scan
- Malwarebytes Free Online Virus Scanner
- Avast Free Virus Scanner tool
Among all these programs VirusTotal is my favorite tool because it is not affiliated with any antivirus tool and it is very easy to use.
You can directly insert the URL of the software build or you can upload the .exe file on this tool to effectively scan for viruses.
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2. Download from Trustworthy Source
Whenever you download software make sure you do it from a trustworthy source. For Windows, the official Microsoft store is a trustworthy source. And for macOS users, Mac App Store is a trustworthy platform to download software and apps.
Other than this there are multiple third-party websites that provide services to download software.
Some of these popular websites are-
- CNet (download.com)
If you are going to download a not-so-popular program then you should check that program on these websites and then download it. And if you are going to download a popular and trustworthy program then the official website is the best place to download it. For example, if you want to download Chrome, then the official website is the best place to get the secure and most updated version.
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3. Ask Google
Asking Google can save you from fraud. Because it can deliver the information that you require. All you need is to make a specific set of queries on Google.
Here are some examples of questions that you can ask Google-
“Software Name” “Fraud”
“Software Name” “Scam”
“Software Name” “Virus”
“Software Name” “PUP”
In these queries replace the “Software Name” with the software you want to download.
4. Check Expert and User Reviews
Whenever you buy a product online from Amazon, eBay, etc. Or you buy a share you ask your friends who have expertise in the field. But it is hard to find a friend who has expertise in software and technology.
There are many websites available that publish experts’ views on software and technologies. Some of these websites have labs dedicated to testing software for its worth and trustworthiness.
Some of the authoritative sources to read software reviews are TechRadar, CNet, SoftAppWorld, and Softonic.
Also, you can find user reviews for the software before downloading it. Whenever we purchase a program on popular platforms like Amazon then we prefer to read the customer reviews. You can do the same for software. You just need to find the right platform to read reviews.
Some of the nice websites that publish user reviews are- Trustpilot, G2, GetApp, etc. Among these review platforms, TrustPilot is my favorite because it only allows genuine reviews.
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6. Search for Alternatives
There are many software in the market that are unreasonably expensive. Software services providers make customers buy these programs with a strong marketing strategy and by reaching customers at the right place and right time.
Users pay them hefty amounts while other software programs provide the same services at very low costs and even for free.
All you need to do is find a good alternative. For this, you can use the website alternativet.net to find alternative and similar software services.
7. Use a Robust Antivirus Program
Nowadays, antivirus programs are very advanced. They can detect any kind of threat to your computer. These programs come with advanced PUP and malware databases. They can even stop the download of malicious software.
So, you can have an antivirus program for your computer and always keep the live security feature ON.
If you are a Windows user then you can turn on the Windows Defender program. Windows Defender is a built-in security program in Windows computers that is packed with advanced features. Windows defender is capable of blocking the downloads that it finds malicious.
8. Avoid Downloaders and Installers
There are many websites that suggest having installers but it is completely unnecessary. These are PUP for your system. PUP stands for “potentially unwanted program” which means the programs that you don’t need on your PC.
You can download and install any program with the .exe file you get from the official website or the authority websites that I have explained above. If you use installers they generally download adware programs on your PC that can be malicious.
9. Check Carefully While Installing the Software
Have you noticed that you install one software and somehow you end up installing multiple other programs?
If yes, then I am going to tell you the reason behind this. When you install software you tend to check every box and click every “Next” button to peacefully install the software on your PC.
Well, you get tricked while you keep checking boxes without reading the context. In the form of checkboxes, they ask you to download different software or a bundle of software. So when you check these boxes you unknowingly install other programs too.
10. Check for Offers
Suppose that you have downloaded the software and used it for your assurance. After that, if you make up your mind to purchase the software you should always check the offers.
You might find better deals on other websites than the official one. You just need to make sure that the website is authentic.
11. Be a Cart Abandoner:
One more thing that I found very common in most software services is that being a cart abandoner can save you a lot of money.
What is a Cart Abandoner?
Cart abandoners are the people who Add products/services to carts and then don’t make a purchase.
When you add a product/service to the cart and don’t make a purchase the service provider will send you emails prompting you to complete your purchase. It is quite possible that they will give you some offers to complete your purchase. You might even get a 50% discount to buy the software.
So, you can try this trick to save your money. I found the same thing after uninstalling software services. Software service providers want to keep customers attached to their services as long as possible. That’s why when you uninstall the software they will give you a discount to install the software and use the premium services.
These are the tips that you should always follow when you download a software. You should only download software when there is no easy manual method available to complete that task.
Windows itself contains tools/programs/software to perform many tasks that a user needs in day-to-day life. You should ask Google how to perform a particular task on Windows PC and you will find many useful guides for free.
For example, if you need to disable your USB ports then you can search how to disable USB ports on Windows PC.
In the end, I would suggest you to not fall for the word FREE. You should not download software from un-trusted sources just because it is free.