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Think Twice Before Downloading Holiday Screensavers

Published: Dec. 6, 2006 at 1:34 PM CST|Updated: Jun. 11, 2007 at 5:53 PM CDT
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This is the season for twinkling holiday lights and Christmas trees. Neighborhoods are aglow and houses are shining.

But before you fall for an Internet pitch urging you to do the same with holiday programs for your computer, NBC's Internet correspondent PC Mike Wendland says you'd better think before downloading.
 
There are scores of sites urging you to decorate your desktop this holiday season with great looking Christmas-themed screensavers and wallpaper like this very popular night before Christmas animated scene.

Freeze.com is my favorite.  It offers lots of free downloads, but beware!

Not all of the sites you'll find their programs for spyware or viruses.

And also watch out for things you might overlook, like checkboxes already checked.  If you download some screensavers they turn your browser into a virtual advertisement unless you uncheck the box.

The vast majority of these sites offering free stuff are there to get your e-mail address, or to subscribe you to receive advertisements or trick you into clicking other ads.

A lot of them are just fine to download, but some aren't and the sad reality is that the only way to know if the site is one of the bad ones is to download and install the program and then it's too late.
 
My recommendation is don't download anything unless it's guaranteed to be virus or Adware safe.

For more information on screensavers visit http://www.pcmike.com/