Is Your Software Telling On You?

The things that go on behind the scenes when it comes to the software that runs on your computer would surprise you. Computers are very technical of course and that means that they have a lot of layers. And the people who create computers and the software for computers try their best to try and hide the complexity from you. If you had to operate computers from a deeper layer than you do now you would probably go crazy and never want to use a computer again. So to avoid any hard feelings the people who create the tools that you use try to wrap it up in a pretty wrapper when they present it to you. That is done in any industry. If you take a look at cars for example you would never be able to operate them if you had to know everything that happens under the hood. It would be too complicated for the average person. Well the same thing true with computers as well.

tell-on-you

But the problem with having to use an item with so many complicated layers involved with it is that you never can tell what is really going on underneath. You can never tell if something is happening for your benefit or to your detriment. You have to just trust the provider of the software and hope that they are going to do the right thing. And even if they are not doing the right thing there is a good chance that you will never find out unless someone more knowledgeable about the subject tells you. There is a good chance that you will never be able to find out on your own. So as you can see, the software that you use everyday having so many layers is both a good thing and a bad thing. It really all depends on who you are able to trust.

But sometimes it is not about trust and more about two different parties point of view on the matter. While one side of the argument may think that it is no big deal, the other side of the argument might think that it is a huge deal and want to put a stop to it. Let’s take for example the ability of software to call home and deliver different types of reports about the software and how it works on your system.

When you install software a lot of the times there will be a check mark asking you if you want the software to be able to report home and tell about your computing experience. They claim that they are only calling home so that you can have a better computing experience. But some people do not believe that. And you cannot believe that story with all of the software that is out there that ask for this request. Sure there is some software out there where this is a legitimate request. And there is other software out there that is going to stretch the line between legal and illegal and might take more information than just how the program is doing. So you really do have to be careful with that.

And some people do not like the ability of the software to call home because of the security hole that it creates. If you have software that makes a call to some remote server to talk then you have software that has a way for potential bad guys to get into your system. While that might be a little paranoid it is still possible.

You have to be careful with the software that you install in your computer system. This is especially true with the ones that call home.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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