Before You Install That Software…
By Leo Notenboom
Stop! Before you take the plunge with that new app or widget, follow these practical steps to keep your system fast and safe.–PC Pitstop
I’d wager that the number one cause of system stability issues, disk space loss, unexpected behavior, and even malware is the software that we actually invite onto our machine.
I’m not talking about opening the accidental attachment. That’s bad when it happens, but it’s not as prevalent as what I’m discussing.
No, I’m talking about the stuff that we actually ask to download – the stuff we seek out.
I’m talking about the software that we explicitly and intentionally install on our computers.
Installing software safely is all about taking a few steps to minimize the impact of what we’re about to do to our machines.
Avoid it if you can
My number one recommendation for keeping your machine clear of cruft is to think carefully before installing anything.
I’m not really talking about updates. Those are things that you almost always want. I’m talking about new programs, add-ons, plugins, and other things that so often vie for our attention and play on our curiosity.
I’m also not saying to never install anything. That kind of defeats the purpose of having a general purpose computer or computing device.
What I am asking you to do is think about whether you really need whatever it is you’re considering installling. Is it something you’ll actually use or is this idle curiosity? Do you understand why someone or something is even suggesting that you install some random tool that you’ve never heard of? If you’re ever not sure, just wait until you find out more. You can always install something later if you find that you have a need and use for whatever it is.
But remember: a program that’s not installed can do you no harm.
This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.