You may have heard the term “Shareware”, but do you exactly know what it means? I have seen people getting confused between shareware and other software. Thus, I came up with the thought of sharing everything in detail. Let me start with a simple definition. So keep reading.
What is Shareware?
Shareware is a commercial software often distributed free of cost. Anybody can avail of this software free of cost because it is meant to be shared with people to promote it. Shareware is free software that anybody like you, me, and your friend can use, but it often comes with a fair set of limitations.
You might be thinking about the limitations. With limitations, we mean users can access limited features of the software or can access the Shareware for a limited time. After that, the program might start poking the user to buy a paid version. The users are provided the software for a limited time and after some time they have to pay for it.
Bursting the myth of Shareware and Freeware
You can try Shareware before purchasing it. A lot of people get confused with Shareware and Freeware. These are two different terms having different meanings. Freeware is free, but not public domain software. In Freeware, you are allowed to do changes and modifications to the code, whereas, you cannot do tweaks in Shareware.
Brief History of Shareware
Shareware was first introduced in the 1980s and it was popular among gamers. A lot of companies offer free-of-cost software with limited features. This program offered by the companies with limited features and free of cost is known as Shareware.
These Shareware programs are often associated with a lot of viruses and malicious payloads. In this article, I will be sharing the types of shareware and how to protect your system from its potential risk.
Insights into the Benefits of Shareware
The first and foremost benefit of Shareware is its risk-free trial. Those who want to try the software for free before purchasing can explore the benefits and cost savings. Moreover, users can understand the whole software, its flaws, and its capabilities. If you do not like the software, there is no need to pay for it. Several overhead expenses are saved.
Let’s Discuss the Types of Shareware
1. Adware or “Advertising supporting software”
Adware is a type of Shareware that earns revenue by displaying ads. The developer can earn money from ads, no matter if users purchase the software or not. Adware is sometimes responsible for malicious things like trojans because it could share your computer’s information with advertisers to help them customize their ads. This may invite unwanted threats.
For example Gator, Appearch, DeskAd, etc.
Nagware is a type of shareware or can say it is a subset of shareware asking users to pay for the software or license. Nagware may hamper the free usage of Shareware by placing offensive or obnoxious pop-ups. It repeatedly reminds you to pay for the software to enjoy it conveniently.
As a fully functional and operational shareware application, donationware may request optional payment. It asks for this optional payment for the benefit of non-profit organizations.
Demoware is also known as trialware, and its work is to provide demos. In Demoware, you can enjoy the features of an application for a few days. It is a subset of shareware that has limited features and users have to purchase it to get access to additional features.
You get software with limited basic features. Users will have to pay an amount to access the other advanced features of Shareware. In short, you can utilize some basic software features.
How to Protect your System when using Shareware?
Software with malware activities
While using Shareware you may see some over-sponsored ads running. Those ads can be malicious to your system. While installing, ensure you check all the prompts and then continue with the installation. By default, while installation, all the prompt boxes are check marked. You need to see them carefully and uncheck a few of them.
When you use out-of-date Shareware, you invite malware to attack your system. The software consists of some security cracks which must be patched as soon as possible. Since you cannot fix an already built shareware program, if it has cracks, it becomes a good place for hackers to plugin the malware.
If the shareware you are using has not been updated in a while, don’t use it. You must install the software with updated security and not just anything random. In addition, you must look after the sites from where you are going to download the shareware. A site’s security check is also essential to stay away from hacks.
Shareware can also be monetized via advertisements, but some can be malicious. Ads displayed by legitimate software may inadvertently link to malicious sites. You must not click such ads.
Check Fraud Applications
You should look at whether your applications are official or not. Many unofficial and shady apps disguise themselves as official applications. You can avoid falling prey to unofficial applications by searching for them on Google and official app stores. You can also research for the same on official app stores and official websites.
Security Software: A Big Yes
Playing safe is always necessary everywhere, and if you have a safe solution like cybersecurity software, it is a better option. You will need a comprehensive security suite if the worst happens. For that worst scenario protection, there are some products like Kaspersky Security Cloud which offer protection from malware, spyware that invites threats, and online scams
These are the dangers that you invite to your system while downloading shareware. You can invite malicious software into your system by doing this. Therefore, you must remain vigilant every time.
This article was all about Shareware types and how to protect from security threats. We hope this guide was helpful and in case you want to know something more, we are all ears. You can comment down below or mail us.
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