CNET Download Site Uses Misleading Software Installation Utility

The Download.com website managed by CNET has become the primary website for software downloads. Many companies use it as the only portal for delivery of their software. However, the site has been identified to use misleading and potentially harmful advertising. So, it’s important to be careful when using the site.

One of the problems to be mindful of is the software download and installation utility. When using it, if you’re not careful, you’ll agree to having other software installed on your computer and having settings on your computer changed.

If you’re not careful to decline various offers, here are some common changes that you’ll experience on the Apple Mac platform:

  1. Your default search provider would be changed to Yahoo on Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome.
  2. MacKeeper may get installed.

Be sure to read the small print. You’ll need to click on the Decline and Close buttons whenever asked if you want to install the additional software.

Here are the screenshots you’ll see during installation.

20150529sa-cnet-software-installation-page-1-of-3

Click Next Step to continue to the screen shown below.

20150529sa-cnet-software-installation-page-2-of-3

On this screen, you need to Decline or Accept having Yahoo set as your default search engine. The screen is configured to look like a typical License Agreement or Acceptance of Terms. Most people will just click Accept and not read the fine print. You should click Decline to avoid having modifications made to your search settings. When you click Decline, you’ll continue to the screen shown below.

20150529sa-cnet-software-installation-page-3-of-3

The screen shown above, is written to look like a typical installation screen. However, it’s a confirmation screen to have MacKeeper installed. The Install button will install MacKeeper. The Close button will continue with the installation of the program you intended to install.

The following screens for steps 3 and 4 are relevant for the software installation.

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