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Is it okay to install this?

“So, I got this pop up that wants me to upgrade (insert app name here), is this okay?”  This is a question I get asked daily.  And it’s not always easy to answer, especially without seeing the message.  Where did the message come from?  Phishing scams and malware are so prevalent today that some of the messages look very legit to the untrained eye.  Since I get to see these a little more often then most I can usually spot bogus applications pretty quickly.

What should you do to confirm if the source of an upgrade is really what it claims to be? Many common applications like your browser, Java, PDF readers such as Adobe Reader will attempt to update and ask you for permission to do so.   If you are not sure if the pop up message is legit, go to the website of the product by manually typing in the address and look for the updated application there.

If that seems a bit tedious, another handy website I’ve found to be helpful in updating multiple applications at once is Ninite.com.  It’s very easy to use, simply put a check mark next to all of the applications you want to install or update on your computer and click on the button that says “Get your Ninite”.  An executable file will download, which you will then need to run by double clicking on the file.   One of the great things about installing from Ninite is it picks the correct version for your computer and takes care of all the other steps of the application install.  It will avoid installing any unnecessary “extras” that are usually offered with the application.   This leaves you with a nice clean install and eliminates junk.

 

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