It is no secret that many of us do not read through all the prompts when installing programs. It is wise to pay a little more attention, however, especially when programs prompt you to install additional unwanted software. It may seem trivial at the time but eventually when your computer starts slowing down and acting erratically you may wish you had spent the extra couple of seconds during installation.
Many “free” programs come bundled with optional browser toolbars and other programs that promise to make your digital life easier. These bundled programs are often selected for installation by default so you have to opt out of installing them. If you are unsure about such programs it is best to err on the side of caution and ensure that you have deselected the option to install the bundled program. The program you are installing, the one you actually want, will most likely work just as well without the bundled software. Adding various unnecessary programs to your system inevitably slows it down as well as occupying valuable hard drive space and sometimes screen real estate. I have seen browsers so littered with toolbars and add-ons that there is hardly enough space to view webpages.
Be careful when installing programs on your computer and pay attention to what is being installed. While legitimate companies bundle their software, spyware and virus makers also use this technique to get you to unwittingly install their malicious programs. Next time you see a check box while installing a program have a look to see what you are installing before continuing.