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The Help! blog features tips for getting the most from, including general web use guidelines. 

Don't Click That Big Green Download Button!

There are a lot of handy websites and apps to download on the web but how can typical users determine what is safe and what will get you a virus?

Rats! The first e-mail I read this morning was from a Social Action Coordinator who downloaded software from a site I had determined to be safe 2 years ago. Since then, the website has sold advertising to an entity that either is a malware site or has been hacked by a malware site, who knows. Whatever the case, her laptop is infected. I was sorry to hear it but am so grateful she let us know. 

While the original site and the app they provide are likely still safe, that post has been deleted. Advertising and scams on the web have become so sophisticated it's difficult to distinguish real content from junk. Ads and scams often mimic real content and can be placed like digital traps with graphical lures. 
Here's what likely happened when this member clicked on a link to download an app that saves YouTube videos to your hard drive:

The page had a clickable ad placed on the right side of the page which is where readers' eyes often track naturally; that makes it easier to notice and very often the user to clicks right away. 

BUT: The real download button was more toward the center of the page. It was not as bright as the fake/ad download button, making it even easier to miss.

The image in this post is a screenshot of an ad that could easily be taken for the correct download button. Text (aka "fine print") below the Big Green Button indicates it is for DriverUpdate™ by Slimware Utilities™ but the app the user came to the page for was not a driver and it was by a different developer. Be sure the text describing the download matches the type of app you're seeking.

Quite often, the answer to any question you have about the web, an app or a website is to READ.
  • Read the fine print, especially when downloading.
  • Forgot your password? Read the links to find the 'forgot your password' link.
  • Read about how to do virtually anything by Googling it.
Don't like reading? Well you can also watch videos on YouTube to see step by step instructions on everything from Acrobat Reader and PDFs to Zip file extracting.

Speaking of YouTube, that's what got us in trouble in the first place! Soon I will post a new link for downloading YouTube videos for viewing offline. I owe a big, guilt-ridden thank you to the member who reported this issue. 

| 3/7/2018 8:36:34 AM | 0 comments
Filed under: download, help, video, youtube


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More Web Tips: 

  1. Keep your browser updated to the latest version.
  2. Keep antivirus, antimalware and antispyware up to date and schedule regular scans.
  3. When installing or updating ANY software take cautions including reading each step of the installation process. Check or uncheck boxes to prevent unwanted apps to download or override your preferences and defaults.