how safe to download from download.com?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by 1 2 3, Jan 23, 2011.

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  1. 1 2 3

    1 2 3 Registered Member

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    programs which are on download.com and softpedia.com, are they guaranteed to be clean and virus free?
     
  2. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

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    Not much is guaranteed on this planet. Just pre-scan with your av after it hits the disk or if the download is not too large, upload it to VirusTotal ;)
     
  3. 1 2 3

    1 2 3 Registered Member

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    thanks for the help.
     
  4. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    CNET Downloads software policies:
    Softpedia terms and conditions of use agreement
    While both sites try their best, as tobacco has aptly stated, always scan any downloads with your present AV.
     
  5. Bambo

    Bambo Registered Member

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    They try their best? Ok, well then just look out for junk ware for which they have about zero standards. "Clean" is a big word in this context. Does not mean you won't run in to overpriced, useless, shady software with equally questionable policies - often from unknown companies. And yeah they do business with them via affiliate links and advertisements, kind of a big deal for them. Some sites even have associated shop. Difference to "Virus" can be paper thin but of course they can fire up a scanner just like everyone else.
     
  6. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I have downloaded many programs from download.com both to test and to keep and I have NEVER had any problem with any of them. Of course that does not guarantee that there will never be a problem but I would rather get a program from download.com than most any other site.

    I should mention that before installing any program from any supplier (including MS) I take a snapshot of my drive with RollBack Rx or I image my drive using ShadowProtect "just in case". This makes it easy to completely clear any test program I decide I am not interested in or to get rid of any problem that may possibly occur with a program I am considering.

    One other thing I like about download.com is the user reviews. I have avoided a lot of programs that don't measure up to the publishers claims because of user reviews. Oh yes, I also put a lot of stock into the downloaded statistics. If a program has a high number of downloads and good reviews I figure its more likely to be worth a look see than one that has been downloaded a very few times and/or has many negative reviews.
     
  7. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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    I remember a couple years back download.com listed several scenicreflections.com screen savers although many were infected for months with different trojan horses. There were several complaints in the user comments but download.com must have never checked them out. I had AVG then and had a detected trojan confirmed by AVG labs which came from a scenic reflections screen saver. I then emailed download.com help desk and included the AVG support ticket number. Download.com apparently then went through some confirmation protocol. All of scenic reflections screen savers were then removed from download.com within a few hours. I'm not sure if they ever were re-listed or not.

    That's a good outcome, I suppose.

    More recently though, the #3 download on download.com - youtube downloader http://download.cnet.com/YouTube-Downloader/3000-2071_4-10647340.html?tag=contentMain;contentAux
    is pretty questionable. After complaining about the toolbar the editors finally put a little blurb about the toolbar being an opt out feature. But the toolbar at the time came from a site listed by hphosts as a malware distribution site. Also, the toolbar does not appear to be included in the initial download but seems to be installed at some point during the youtube downloader install as a call out to another site is made, which apparently trigger the toolbar download/install. At least that is what appeared to be happening- I could be wrong. Here is the home page of the youtube downloader-
    http://youtubedownload.altervista.org/

    Here's what I posted on the download.com forum (to not much avail)-
    http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6132_102-409560.html


    FWIW- here are the scenic reflections screensavers listed on softpedia.com-
    ~ Removed Link as a Precaution ~
    32 of them- see what http://www.urlvoid.com/ says about ~ Removed Link as a Precaution ~ (dangerous, MDL, hphosts, etc)


    Whether the scenic reflections screensavers listed on softpedia contain malware or not, I think it would be a better policy to not list products from companies with such negative histories/ IMO it would serve softpedia well to get rid of the scenic reflections listings altogether.

    There's also these sites associated with scenicreflections.com-
    http://www.luckypatricksday.com http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/luckypatricksday.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2011
  8. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I usually scan any download, first the installer, then the app just to make sure. Often with my AV & anti-malware scanner (SUPERAntiSpyware).
     
  9. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Yeah it is safe. the site has good reputation and they protect that.. and investigate and test thoroughly all programs before they put it in their sites etc...and also there are other sites that are safe and reliable like majorgeek.com etc... but if ever you still gets an infections, virus, trojans etc...from the downloaded programs that came from this site then it is just called.... Bad Luck!!! :argh:

    But if you are very adventurous and navigates and downloads other sites make sure you have some kind of "advanced investigative" addons or programs that will warn you if the sites are good or bad...or has bad reputations. Install something in Firefox addons like WOT. This will at least will warn the possible danger before entering the site to download something. Or maybe if your antivirus has a Web Access protection like what was in NOD32 then it will immediately block the site with malicious contents and even terminate the connection when you download programs that are possibly infected.
     
  10. Bambo

    Bambo Registered Member

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    Sweater if you want an example of what I consider not clean, scam, complete junk yet still available on those sites check out http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/reviversoft.com and their products. Is worse than that since at least Majorgeeks have done some heavy advertising for it. Is trivial to find these things and of course a bit ironic that some of these sites also have software which will prevent installation of other hosted programs :) Don't remind me that this particular site also have a malware removal forum and in general love to present itself as having a "safe" profile. Handpicked and tested, yes yes.

    The only thing you can be sure of is that responsibility is yours only.

    I just checked their forum, in the hope there are some who speak up!, and quickly noticed threads about this - with suggestion of delisting. I don't know current state, possible they have removed this junk. Way way way too late. Ads have been on their site for a long time and any idiot knows what the deal is. My screenshot was taken 20-12-2010 where they were married to the crap, was on their site for months. With affiliate ID I might add. One of those "incidents" you can wonder about. As I said Clean is a big word.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  11. Nozavi

    Nozavi Registered Member

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    Indeed, thanks for the heads-up :thumb:

    All SR screensavers have been removed :cool:
     
  12. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Excellent, thank you for listening.
     
  13. littlebits

    littlebits Registered Member

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    Most download sites like Download.com, Softpedia, MajorGeeks, BetaNews, FileHippo, Snapfiles, FreewareFiles.com are pretty much safe.

    But on some occasions, you can still find new roguewares that use online installers that connect to rogue sites to download the setup files, most are not malicious, they are what I call scareware use fake scanners to make you think you need to buy the products when you don't really need them. Most of these are marked to be freeware when they are just limited shareware that you have to buy in order to use all of their features. Most don't even offer a trial period.

    These type of files are NOT detected by any scanners because there is no malware files included their setups, they download them separate.

    Download sites are very good at removing these softwares when they are reported by their users. I have reported several of these type of downloads and they were removed within days. The problem is you can still get one of these files if they haven't been reported prior to you downloading them.

    I do agree that download sites really try hard to keep the downloads safe.

    Thanks.:D
     
  14. Bambo

    Bambo Registered Member

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    An interesting take on the situation littlebits. Pretty much a user problem that sites make money off junkware. I suggest you research the program I mentioned and the site. That HAS been reported in details by someone who bothered to check and what happened then? They actually have an even better example they took under their wings recently. Also think about what an affiliate deal is, that and low standards runs the show and why they need "help" from users. How sweet. Must remember that those who make copy cat, useless, junk, a bit too much adware based, malware like software do not agree it is of low standard. Neither does their family or business partners. Lower standards like saying oh but our scanners did not detect this soo_O? and voila problem solved. Affiliate deals can continue.

    Unless you value pixel security via icons the only time you see these site play the protective role towards their users, which are customers, is when they sense it is beneficial to do so. How it is with businesses, they are not better or worse than other marketers. They will advertise and pimp what sells. What makes the internet go around.

    I agree nothing will change at all since they will continue to try really really hard ;) Business first, guardian angle role last. If it really was the other way around some of them will vanish in a flash and besides most things online are heavily commercialized by now. Take part of that with no critical awareness to speak of you get screwed.
     
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