Though I'll be the first to admit I am no expert on PCs, I believe I know more than the average person and my friends often come to me asking for advice; advice on errors, hardware not playing nice together, or about a specific application that will do "this" or "that." Often times I know an app exists, and I may even know the name, but I may not know the vendor or the website from which to download.
I hesitate on telling my friends "just google it" since who knows how many ads or malicious websites will float to the top. In the past I would recommend going to download.com - it was a reliable, reputable website and I felt pretty good that if the app was listed there, it was, indeed, a legitimate application.
I'm furious, and frustrated that I no longer can.
When asked, I'll be the first to state that a website deserves, and should receive, some form a compensation for their services. And I realize it's difficult for a website to charge for software that is readily available elsewhere on the internet for free. So that means a website has to rely on ads or other methods to generate income. But the deceptive practices at CNET's download.com are bordering on criminal. They are so bad, that MPC even did an article on How to Download Without Installing Malware
which used download.com as its example. And even though I'm fully cognizant of the pitfalls, I've still managed to to get infected with some of the "extra" applications. I have no idea whether they offer a benefit because by the time I realize they're on my computer I feel I've been duped, and I don't want anything that tricked me into installing it.
CNET, in the past I would use and recommend your website because I trusted you and I wanted to make sure malware wasn't accidentally installed on my computer. Why would I continue to visit your website when you actively attempt to accomplish the very thing that I was hoping to prevent in the first place? Making it worse, I'm actually better off taking my chances on the wild west of internet searching
: If I make a mistake there I'm most likely to be infected with one piece of malware; if I use download.com, I can get 2, 3...sometimes more malicious programs on my computer.
Shame on you.