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The Scariest Word to Click On

In another related case, the CNet property, Download.com also tries to scam you into installing miscellaneous crapware onto your computer, by disguising the real download link and presenting a “please fill my computer with garbage” button that looks like the button you should click on to download the file you want.

Look at the following screen:

Download.com tries to trick you into installing unwanted software.Do you see where you are supposed to click to download the file? No, not the big green button, it’s the blue link below it.  The big green button will also load your computer with unwanted garbage.

How can they get away with it? They asked you if you wanted them to mess up your computer and you agreed. If you are paying attention and you hover your mouse over the little “i”, you will see a pop-up message.

The CNET Download.com Installer is a tiny ad-supported stub installer or “download manager” that helps securely deliver your downloads from Download.com’s servers. We also include offers for carefully screened software that complies with Download.com Software Policies as part of our Installer process.

Here’s another clue that it is much worse even than the admit. When a word is inappropriately capitalized, like they do with the word “Installer”, that means it is a service mark, not a descriptive word. A clever way of saying “It’s not what it does, it’s what we call it.”

After you download the file, they try again to prey on people’s impatience. They delay the download for a few seconds while the following screen displays:

They delay the download for a few seconds, and many people will click on “Start Download”, which is an ad.

The moral to this story is: “Always read carefully before you click.”. If you are having a problem with your computer either thoroughly research the problem or get professional help from a well-known expert or company.

And don’t be scared off by “Custom install (for advanced users only)”, because that is often the only way you will learn what will really happen to your computer.

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