There is a belief that just about anything can be found on the Internet for free. To some extent this may be true, but there can be a heavy price to pay for some of these goodies. Downloading software from the Internet can result in you inadvertently downloading and installing viruses and Trojan horses to your PC.
Some basic rules of safe downloading include:
Download only from reputable sites. If you find software that you really like, do some research on the site before downloading it. Chances are, if others have had problems they will post their experiences online.If you are unsure if there will be compatibility issues between the free download and your other programs, do not download it. In many cases, good download sites will provide information on the requirements to download any particular software. Some sites will also state issues that may be encountered with downloading a particular software. It is never advisable to download software based on a link received in an unsolicited email. Plus, if you get a link to download software from someone you know confirm that they really sent it unless of course you were expecting the information.Keep a computer if possible just for downloading and testing. This will help ensure that your working computer is safe in the event that software you download is unstable or worse yet, a virus. Alternately you should frequently back up your system just in case one of your downloads wreaks havoc on your system and you lose your data.
It is also worth remembering that free software does not generally come with technical support. If by the off chance it does, rest assured the support will not be all that good. There are always exceptions to every case, but it is best to be cautious.