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FREE Software!

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Is free software a good idea? It can be and it can be something to steer clear of too. In the news recently have been stories of free anti-virus software makers collecting your browsing habits and selling the information to third parties. This is called Data Harvesting and some in the US Senate are wondering why this hasn’t been investigated further.

Data harvesting has been around for a long time and most of the time you may see a pop up letting you know about it and you can opt-out. This is more-true for software that you pay for. But the free software can be a little tricky and you need to know what the publisher’s practices are to understand how to deal with it.

If you browse on Amazon or some other shopping site and are looking for a certain item, the next day you may see adds for the type of items you were looking for. The sites are monitoring your browsing and will use the information to try and sell your something. Some sites may actually sell your data to market research firms or corporations and you may never know it.

It’s not only happening with the free anti-virus software but it’s also happening with VPN companies and some web browsers have been identified as using similar practices.

Most of the time the data being collected is stripped of your personal information and is de-identified and you must either agree or disagree with the practice. If you disagree most of the time you can’t access the free software.

I’m not sure about you but I don’t want anyone or any business knowing my personal browsing and or keystroke or mouse movements. Big brother is watching now more than ever so be smart. If something is free there may be a catch and even if you pay for something there could be bad attributes that come along with it.

Look for weekly Technology Tuesday Tidbits published by Netready IT to remind everyone that IT runs your business and to make sure you have a good understanding of what is needed to survive and prosper....

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