It has become very common that when you download updates for programs like Java or Adobe Flash, or download new software, you will be offered something else along with it for free. I call these piggyback downloads. I recommend never accepting any of them. The most common piggyback download is a toolbar added to your browser. They offer nearly nothing you don't already have, as most browsers already have a built in place to search with popular search engines. These toolbars will clutter up your screen, and usually make your browser go slower.
Another common piggyback download is a stripped down version of a Norton, McAfee or other security applications. These downloads are really no more than advertising for their full products. These especially will slow your computer down.
The challenging thing about piggyback downloads is that they falsely assume that everyone wants them. There is a check box you must make sure you uncheck to avoid these nuisance programs, or they will download and install.
I spend a lot of time removing piggyback downloads from cluttered up machines. In nearly every case, the end-user of the computer did not want them, and did not even know where they came from.
Why do Java, Adobe and so many other software companies try to push piggyback downloads on us? Because advertisers pay them a commission every time the piggyback download gets taken, hoping it will lead to a sale.
If you pay attention to all the messages that appear when you are downloading something, and uncheck all check boxes that mention other products, you can avoid getting your computer cluttered up and slowed down.
©2012 Matthew G. Brown