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How to know if a software is free of virus and any other hidden ransomware

of course I can fully trust everything if it's downloaded from Microsoft or other well-known trusted developer. However, sometimes I really need to download something or small tools where the big developers do not have, How can I know if a software is free of any hidden things that are unwelcome??

by the way, cnet.download.com , is it a trusted source of download ? Is all software on the list of cnet.download.com are all fully-tested and virus, malware free?
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  1. You do not know and even though the software may come from (or appear to come from) trusted sources there is always a risk.

    There are look-alike web sites out there that you can inadvertenty link to with just a simple typo.

    And a lot of web-sites have lots of green"download" buttons that will actually download something else unless you are very careful to check the URL displayed when the link or button is moused over. If no link appears - do not click.

    I use the dedicated "download" folder and anything that is downloaded to that folder gets immediately scanned.
  2. cnet.download has been on my ignore list for years. No malware, but too much included crapware.
  3. Ralston18 said:
    You do not know and even though the software may come from (or appear to come from) trusted sources there is always a risk.

    There are look-alike web sites out there that you can inadvertenty link to with just a simple typo.

    And a lot of web-sites have lots of green"download" buttons that will actually download something else unless you are very careful to check the URL displayed when the link or button is moused over. If no link appears - do not click.

    I use the dedicated "download" folder and anything that is downloaded to that folder gets immediately scanned.



    Can paid version of Avast scan all the new software if it has any hidden virus or malware before installation??
  4. brannsiu said:


    Can paid version of Avast scan all the new software if it has any hidden virus or malware before installation??


    Depends on your definition of 'malware'.
    For me, an install that defaults to hijacking my browser or search engine to something else is 'malware'.
    And The AV tools do not catch that.
  5. USAFRet said:
    brannsiu said:


    Can paid version of Avast scan all the new software if it has any hidden virus or malware before installation??


    Depends on your definition of 'malware'.
    For me, an install that defaults to hijacking my browser or search engine to something else is 'malware'.
    And The AV tools do not catch that.


    my "definition" is anything that is not good for the user, yes, hijacking my browser to somewher is of course malware for 99% of people in my opinion

    any suggestion of freeware against malware??
  6. Best answer
    brannsiu said:
    USAFRet said:
    brannsiu said:


    Can paid version of Avast scan all the new software if it has any hidden virus or malware before installation??


    Depends on your definition of 'malware'.
    For me, an install that defaults to hijacking my browser or search engine to something else is 'malware'.
    And The AV tools do not catch that.


    my "definition" is anything that is not good for the user, yes, hijacking my browser to somewher is of course malware for 99% of people in my opinion

    any suggestion of freeware against malware??



    Well..the issue is that during the install, there is a checkbox to allow the install to change your browser , search engine, or other things.
    This is checked Yes by default.
    So...by doing this install you have accepted that change.

    Solution? Don't just click through the defaults during an install.
    Select Custom or Advanced, and read what it says it is doing.
    If the particular application does not allow you to deselect that....Cancel. Find some other application that does not do this.

    There is rarely a single application that is both the only one that performs that function, and also includes crapware.

    I always find the best place to get an install of something is direct from whoever made it, or the publisher.
    Or, ninite.com.

    Any actual virus or known 'malware' is generally caught by your AV application.
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