Purchasing and Installing Programs

  • Installing problem form unverified sources have a number of risks such as exposure to viruses. The following steps will help you determine if the program you’re installing satisfies your needs without causing harm to your computer and ultimately the information you have on the computer as well as deciding if a program is what it says it and gauging the risk to you and your computer by running this program.

Best Practices

  • a) Learn as much as you can about the product and what it does before you purchase it.

    b) Understand the refund/return policy before you make your purchase.

    C) Buy from a local store that you already know or a national chain with an established reputation.

Installation Checklist

  • a) What does the program do? You should be able to read a clear description of what the program does. This description could be on the web site where you can download it or on the CD-ROM you use to install it. You need to realize that that if the program was written with malicious intent, the author/intruder isn’t going to tell you that the program will harm your system. They will probably try to mislead you. So, learn what you can, but consider the source and consider whether you can trust that information.

    b)What files are installed and what other changes are made on your system when you install and run the program? Again, to do this test, you may have to ask the author/intruder how their program changes your system. Consider the source.

    c) Who is the author? (Can you use e-mail, telephone, letter, or some other means to contact them?) Once you get this information, use it to try to contact them to verify that the contact information works. Your interactions with them may give you more clues about the program and its potential effects on your computer and you.

    d) Who else has used the program? This focuses on what aspects can you learn from him or her. Try some Internet searches using your web browser. Somebody has probably used this program before you, so learn what you can before you install it.