The lowdown on utility downloads

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: I recently purchased a new computer and proceeded to download various utility programs. To my dismay, I found numerous download websites offering the utilities I wanted, but I couldn’t tell which ones were trustworthy. As a result, twice I ended up unintentionally downloading malware along with the intended utility programs. It seems that today, many malicious websites provide downloads of legitimate software programs secretly bundled with malicious malware. How can I tell which utility download websites are legitimate?

A: Try downloading your utilities free from ninite.com. Ninite is an established one-stop website that provides downloads for dozens of popular utilities, including Acrobat Reader, Ad-Aware, Chrome, Classic Start, Dropbox, Evernote, Hulu, iTunes, Java, keyPass2, Paint, QuickTime, Silverlight, Skype, Thunderbird, TrueCrypt, uTorrent, WinRAR, and more. In addition, Ninite provides the following benefits:

  • Allows you to install all of your utilities at once;
  • Automatically installs apps and utilities to their default locations;
  • Automatically declines installing extra toolbars, menus, or junk;
  • Automatically installs 64-bit apps on 64-bit machines;
  • Performs installations in the background; and
  • Always installs the latest stable versions.


In addition, running Ninite again later will automatically update your utilities.

 

To use Ninite, visit Ninite.com (pictured above), check the boxes next to the utilities you want to install, then click the Get Installer button; the installations will be performed in the background.

As an option, for $9.95 a year, Ninite monitors and updates your utilities and apps automatically. In addition, Ninite Pro (priced starting at $20 per month) provides the ability to install utilities and apps remotely, manage multiple PCs from a central location, turn off annoying notifications (such as “Java Update Available”), customize installation schedules, and more.

SPONSORED REPORT

Post-busy season checklist

Now that tax season is over, pause for some introspection to guarantee that next year’s busy season is even better. Bonus: “Dirty dozen” scams list to share with your clients. Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg BNA // Software and Wolters Kluwer.

QUIZ

News quiz: Risks are top of mind in finance

Americans are worried about risks to their financial security. Accountants also see risks to their organizations and their careers. See how much you know about recent news and reports with this quiz.

CHECKLIST

Auditing risks in culture

Cultural flaws can seriously damage an organization. Here’s how internal auditors can reduce risks by embedding culture audits into existing audit programs.