Friday, September 27, 2013

Has Your PC Been Taken Over by Foistware?

When my daughter asked me to get rid of the "junk on my computer" recently, it appeared she had fallen victim to what computer expert and writer, Bob Rankin calls "foistware", a very apt title. 

Foistware, as the title suggests, is software that is foisted on you when you do something online, like downloading a software product.

Even reputable companies like Adobe include foistware with their downloads, as is evident in the screen capture at left. Adobe, however, doesn't hide the foistware offer for McAfee virus software. If you don't want it, you simply get rid of the tick.
Numerous other download sites include foistware, but unless you read every last paragraph, the chances are you'll end up with a search engine, toolbar or other software you don't want and don't need. Given time and enough downloads, your computer can become bogged down with apps and other sofware of little value.

While much downloaded foistware isn't malware, occasionally downloads are accompanied by viruses like the Australian Federal Police ransomware. This scam takes over your computer and demands money for you to access your computer again. (see my post here). The scammers responsible for this program change the name of the ransomware to suit the police agency in various countries.

What can you do? Make sure you are fully aware of what you are downloading when you download it. To read Bob Rankins article about foistware, click here.


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1 comment:

  1. If you have children who use your computer, set it up so they can't download games or anything else without your approval. They aren't ofay with malware and foistware and will eventually bog your hard disk down with content you don't need or want.


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