If you download software from Cnet (download.com) you may wish to read this post and the reports on the linked pages regarding a computer infection problem from a formerly reliable site.
Personally, I haven’t had problems downloading from Cnet and that seems to be because I download directly, never using their installer, the source of current complaints against the site. However, I’ve always wondered how Cnet’s ‘professional’ software reviews could often be so different from the average everyday user reviews. Opinion, user experience and the quality of said users computer hardware are certainly factors in such differences of opinion; however, after reading this blog post about Cnet downloads infected with third party malware via their installer and then reading the complaints on the Cnet forum, I find trusting their reviews and service in the future to be doubtful at best.
Really, what kind of trustworthy organization okays and even requires you to deal with third party advertisements and sneakware? The answer: NONE.
Cnet claims, “All offers included in the Installer are tested to make sure that they conform with our security policies prohibiting malware and spyware, and all may be declined or opted-out of without affecting the initial download.” Oh really? Then why all the user complaints Cnet? And why have you let this go on for so long? Obviously, your security is a joke and you have failed to live up to a common maxim – show don’t tell. Don’t tell us how secure your downloads are, show us.
From now on, if I even use Cnet again, it will be for learning about and finding software. When it comes to downloading a find I’m only going to do it from the company and/or individual who created it – the source and NOT Cnet. In my opinion a few extra seconds of searching is worth saving yourself hours of frustration.