The most important thing you can do to block adware is to never let it on to your computer. The biggest thing people do to make themselves vulnerable to unwanted ads and system slowness is downloading and installing free software and free games.
When I tell this to people, it never fails that someone will point out the fact that there is a lot of clean and safe software that you can get that is free. For example, Mozilla Firefox, Zone Alarm Firewall, and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
It is true that there are quite a few pieces of software that are totally harmless and totally free. It is also true that you can find good software tools and block adware at the same time. So how do you walk through the mine fields of dangerous software and find the good stuff? They way you look for it and where you get it from will make a world of difference in your efforts to block adware.
A common mistake people do is go to Google and type in the kind of software they are looking for, add “free” to it, and then hit submit. Searching for software like this can lead you down very dangerous roads and give you all kinds of unintended consequences.
Google can take you to wild places around the internet, and it is best to just avoid them altogether. Just the other day, to test this theory for this article, I started searching for free software on the internet. I ended up on some funky page on a software directory website that installed a bug called Win32/Agent.ODG trojan just by visiting their site.
I didn’t even install anything!
You can save yourself endless of hours trying to block adware from your PC just by looking for free software tools in the right place. Here are the top 3 places to find software on the internet and why I recommend them. Between these three sites you will be able to find everything you need, without having to block adware:
Download.com has been online since 1996 and is the 112th most popular site on the web according to Alexa.com. They get approximately 17.4 million visitors per month according to TrafficEstimate.com. They were purchased by CNet a couple of years ago and is one of my favorite websites. I defintely recommend that you bookmark this site.
The most important feature about this site is that they check to make sure a piece of software is free of adware and spyware before they add it into their directory. So anything you find there has their thumbs up, and they have a big and knowledgeable staff checking things out.
I also like the fact that their editors post a quick score about the quality of a piece of software as well as a review on most of the popular titles. Then they also allow users of the software to add a quick score and review as well, so you can get a really good honest look at a tool before you waste the time to download and install it. They also display how many times a title has been downloaded. Obviously if a piece of software is doing something right, it is going to get a lot of attention.
MajorGeeks.com has been online since 2000 and is the 3612th most popular site on the web according to Alexa.com. They get approximately 1.4 million visitors per month according to TrafficEstimate.com. I really like this site because it doesn’t have the “corporate” feel and is more like talking to your neighbor about software. Your neighbor that is a computer geek anyway.
They have really great forums and you can find all kinds of great information there. You are way better off searching for information there than on Google or some other search engine. You also get a different take on software when you read the reviews and forums posted on MajorGeeks.com.
Instead of reading reviews from your average computer user or teenager on Download.com, you get to read information from more seasoned and savvy computer users. From time to time it is nice to know that you are installing something that works well under the hood. Especially when you are trying to block adware.
Tucows.com has been online since 1995 and is the 3063rd most popular site on the web according to Alexa.com. They get approximately 1.5 million visitors per month according to TrafficEstimate.com. Tucows.com is a favorite amongst the IT Professionals.
When you go to this site to look for software you are seeing what the pros like to see. The main advantage to this is that IT Professionals don’t mess around with crappy tools and they don’t fall for the tricks that sneaky adware publishers try to play on the general public.
Plus, they have been on the internet for a long time and their download speeds are very fast. They are famous for internet downloads, it is what put them on the map. So you can rest assured that when you go to Tucows.com that you won’t be waiting forever to receive a file.