Nothing is Ever 'Free' on the Web
The McAfee Siteadvisor blog has an interesting post today about the hidden cost of free software on the web. They warn that the results produced by using the "free" keyword on search engines often lead users to malicious, malware-spreading websites. Is anyone here crazy enough to search Google for things like "Free Screensavers", "Free Ringtones" or "Free Music"? If you're going to answer "yes" to this question, then please go bang your head on the nearest wall a few times; it may help bring you back on the path of good sense.
We in the technical community are aware that screensaver downloads often come with potentially unwanted programs. Yet typical consumers conduct 15 million searches for screensavers every month. The problem, in our view, is that the screensaver "freebie" often comes with adware strings attached. And it's not just consumers. Major advertisers continue to use adware vendors. Remember the recent episode with Warner Bros. and Zango?