The true meaning of freeware

Written by Daniel Robson

The vast majority of us will have, at some point, had freeware games or applications installed on our systems. If you’ve played an online Java or Flash based game, you’ve used freeware. In a very real wayrepparttar Internet itself is freeware, a massive collections of scripts, information, tools and resources that are, forrepparttar 105412 most part, totally free. But what is it that motivates so many people to put so much work into a project, and then release it totally free of charge? There are a few misconceptions about freeware that I would like to clear up.

1.) “Freeware programs are loaded with spy ware and Trojan horses” – not true. While it is true that some programs contain these types of malicious software, they are a vanishingly small percentage ofrepparttar 105413 whole. The type of people who release programs like this are identical to spam mailers – criminal and beneath contempt. If you are worried about this then I suggest you only download software from large, well known freeware sites. These almost always check to ensure their programs are free of any malicious code.

2.) “Freeware only works for X amount of days, or is crippled in some way”. Again, not true. Programs that work in this way are classified as Shareware, and are designed so that if you likerepparttar 105414 programs function you can payrepparttar 105415 author for a full version. Freeware is never crippled in any way, and comes with no charge whatsoever – although donations are always appreciated!

3.) “The only reason this is freeware is because no-one in their right mind would pay money for it”. This, unfortunately, is often a valid point. There are some truly abysmal programs out there. And even ifrepparttar 105416 program is a good, helpful little tool, it doesn’t mean you would be prepared to spend £10 on it in a shop. However there are some absolute gems out there, like 7-zip for example. All I can say is, again, look forrepparttar 105417 big directories whererepparttar 105418 submissions are ranked. Look especially forrepparttar 105419 sites where users can leave their own feedback on a product, for example is a superb site for freeware games.

Do You Text Chat (IM) Online?

Written by Dee Scrip

By Dee Scrip © All rights reserved.

IM (Instant Messaging) - man, we thought we had it made inrepparttar shade when we stumbled over this unique way to communicate! Outside of talking person-to-person onrepparttar 105410 phone, IM wasrepparttar 105411 next best thing. Texting talk was endless and cost was nonexistent. Well, those wererepparttar 105412 good old days of yore – you know, those days of glorious innocence.

Just as we were getting oh so comfortable, happily IMing away to each other, then camerepparttar 105413 cloak-and-dagger entrance ofrepparttar 105414 treacherous “IM villains”. With their ominous arrival,repparttar 105415 party abruptly ended. It seemed like overnight, our instant messaging (IM) turned into instant mercenaries, andrepparttar 105416 carnage was strewn all overrepparttar 105417 Internet.

First, it was one by one, thenrepparttar 105418 numbers increased and starting growing exponentially, as friends began receiving, and inadvertently sending, viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Then it went from bad to worse, as report after report surfaced describingrepparttar 105419 grisly results of innocent victims losing their identity because these villains had accessed their personal and confidential information. Truly this wasrepparttar 105420 darkest of times for all IMer friends – regardless ofrepparttar 105421 IM service we were texting on.

How could this have happened? And more importantly, how can we protect ourselves?

Well, I found out that these villainous hackers had accessed a nifty little program originally designed to benefit us, and twisted it to intercept our conversations traveling acrossrepparttar 105422 internet. They now have a profitable tool to use that intercepts our data packets and sends us a virus, and duplicates it by sendingrepparttar 105423 same ugly bug to everyone on our Buddy List.

Once a hacker has gained access to our Buddy List, they trick our friends into thinking WE, (a trusted source), are sending them a file to download. Then when our friends innocently downloadrepparttar 105424 file, these villains can then access their computers as well, and userepparttar 105425 personal and confidential information gathered to line their own pockets. How it affected businesses whose employees used IM to communicate…well, I will just let your imagination take over from there…becauserepparttar 105426 hackers let theirs dorepparttar 105427 same.

A lot of us were thinking that we had nothing to worry about because we had anti-virus software on our computers, and that providedrepparttar 105428 protection we needed. Wrong!

Anti-virus software is not designed to protect our data packets traveling acrossrepparttar 105429 internet. There are still no anti-virus applications that directly monitor IM traffic. This is due torepparttar 105430 difficulty in finding IM traffic as it is often embedded inside http packets. And what is worse yet is that Forrester’s, Root stated that “In 2005 and 2006, we expect IM to get hit with some serious attacks…”

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