Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
Have you ever installed a program only to find that it came with some ridiculous, hidden crapware like the Ask.com toolbar? Don't feel bad, the installer probably tricked you into installing it. Weblog FreewareGenius details the most common tricks companies use, and how to avoid each one.
Some installers are pretty clear about what they come with, letting you merely uncheck a box if you don't want to install that toolbar. Others, however, use devious deceptions to get that toolbar on your system. The most popular tricks include:
- Hiding the choice under "Custom Installation," so the "Typical" installation gives you the toolbar automatically
- Offering you crapware multiple times throughout the installation, perhaps with different wordings
Each of these methods has variations, too, but in the end it's all about deception: getting you to install some toolbar or other piece of crapware by hoping you clicked through the installer too fast to notice.
So what's the solution? The short version is: Pay attention when you install a new program. Read all of the text, choose the Custom Installation whenever you can, and never agree to install a toolbar—there's (almost) always a way around. Check out FreewareGenius' full article on the subject below for more details.