The internet can be a dangerous place if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are some of the worst things you can install on your computer.
PC “Cleaner” Programs
One of the worst things you can install on your computer is a PC “Cleaner” Program. Most of the computers that technicians work on are brought in because they are going slow, freezing, or are having programs “crashing” or “not responding”. These problems are almost always caused by something that was recently installed on the computer.
When a computer has a problem, many people’s first reaction is to try to fix it themselves first before contacting a trained computer technician. If you search online for “PC Cleaner”, you’ll be greeted with a number of fake cleaning programs that promise to clean your registry or to do a tune-up of some sort. A PC tune-up is largely a non-automated process, and relying solely on a piece of software to clean out your registry is almost always a bad idea.
The registry houses very important information, some of which is required for Windows to operate properly. Relying on a program without a technician present can lead to some pretty serious Operating System issues. There are legitimate free programs out there, such as Piriform’s CCleaner, which can clean the registry safely, but most programs that give this promise will cause more harm than they do good and that is why a “Cleaner” is one of the worst things you can install on your computer.
Another one of the worst things you can install on your computer is a torrent. A torrent file is one that is quickly downloaded using a peer-to-peer file sharing system. If you’ve ever heard the term “internet piracy” thrown around, torrent files are the files being shared. Internet piracy is when copyrighted material is distributed and shared with others across the internet. The most commonly pirated items are music, movies, and software, most of which are copyrighted, making it illegal to share without purchase. Note that not all BitTorrent traffic is illegal, however, as some companies and artists use it to distribute their work quickly.
Back in the days when file-sharing programs such as Napster, Kazaa, and Limewire were at the forefront of the peer-to-peer file transfer scene, many shared files had embedded computer viruses hidden in them, and it was incredibly common to be infected after downloading such files.
These particular programs are long-gone for the most part and have been replaced with BitTorrent clients like uTorrent, deluge, and others. uTorrent does not itself offer downloads, but instead takes the .torrent files downloaded from “BitTorrent trackers”, servers devoted to allowing users to share copyrighted files with other users. Many of these trackers are hosted in other countries in an attempt to hide from the MPAA or RIAA.
Even with the availability of user comments and strict moderation on these torrent sites, it is still quite possible to be infected by a “bad” torrent if you’re not careful and a torrent is definitely one of the worst things you can install on your computer.
“Free” Obscure Games
Large games from the likes of Blizzard or Riot are not likely to cause problems, and neither are the more popular Facebook and Pogo games; however, one should be careful when installing unfamiliar games from small-time companies. Many online games are coupled with adware and extra add-ons and toolbars, so if you’re not careful, your computer might soon be crawling with these bogus programs and this is why free games are one of the worst things you can install on your computer.
Firstly, always look for user reviews if you’re unfamiliar with a game, or try to find someone with first-hand knowledge to see what they think about it before downloading.
Secondly, be very careful during the installation for any special offers from sponsors or third party software trying to squeeze its way into your system.
If you’re not familiar with it, don’t install it.
Drivers and .dll Files from Unknown Sites
Driver and DLL files can be one of the worst things you can install on your computer if they are not from a trusted source. It is very common for device drivers to stop working, and the same goes for .dll files becoming corrupted. Looking online for a particular driver or .dll file will provide you with hundreds of sites, all hoping that you’ll download their files. The problem is that you could find several different downloads that all promise the same thing, and none of them will work properly.
Rule of thumb: don’t download any device drivers or .dll files unless they come directly from the manufacturer’s website or from a disc that came with your computer. Dell often provides a Drivers and Utilities CD with some computer models that have all the drivers required for your Operating System to function. HP and other manufacturers have most of their drivers available on their own website. Always check the manufacturer’s website first before anywhere else if possible.
These .dll files can be tricky. There are some websites that may provide legitimate downloads of these files, but there are so many variables and just as many phony sites out there that you’re likely to cause more problems than you originally had if you go this route and this is why these can be one of the worst things you can install on your computer. If you have the Operating System disc that came with your computer, use it to attempt a repair.
If you need help with cleaning your registry or computer, have questions about BitTorrent, want to check the legitimacy of an online game you found, or would like help installing device drivers or repairing your Operating System, we would be more than happy to help you diagnose your issue with our FREE consultation services. We are available any time, day or night, to help you fix your computer.
Here at OneSupport, we offer FREE consultations and diagnostics services, either on the phone at 1-844-4-1-SUPPORT or via chat, right here on Onesupport.com !