How unwanted toolbars and plug-ins get installed
Some free programs you find online include add-ons like toolbars and plug-ins. This helps the developer of the program make some money, but it's a pain for you.
Most of the time, these add-ons are labeled and you can choose not to install them.
Note: If a program I recommend in my Downloads section includes an add-on, I let you know in the write-up so you can avoid it.
However, some people speed through the process of downloading or updating a program. It's easy to click OK to everything without realizing you might be downloading a bunch of extras.
Sometimes these add-ons are even hidden away in the "advanced install" option, which many folks don't even bother to check.
The only way to stay safe is to be vigilant. While you may skip parts of a program's terms & conditions, be sure to read every screen. Installing toolbars onto your browser is a big business, but avoiding bait-and-switch tactics just requires a few extra seconds of reading.
Already dealing with an unwanted toolbar?