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In the last couple years, a new trend has emerged, especially with freeware. More and more programs are bundling "extra" software that may be installed alongside the program you think you are getting for free. The popular file-sharing software "KaZaa" did this at one point as have many others. In theory, this is what keeps the programs free (similar to how advertising on web sites pay the bills for the operators and helps keep most sites free of charge to users). Sadly, this type of spyware is now being included with free things like screensavers and themes.

A lot of these programs give you a choice to opt out so you should always read installation prompts carefully and be sure to uncheck anything you may not want installed. Most users just hit Next >> repeatedly until the program is installed.

Some bundleware is becoming more aggressive with it's "extras" and do not give you choices. This is quite annoying, to say the least. Some of these extras may include things like browser toolbars that can hijack your start and search pages, and much much more. The list of things programs labeled as "spyware" can do is almost endless. Type in "Spyware" or "Adware" in any good search engine and you'll find entire sites dedicated to this internet plague.

Celebrity Desktop tries to mark new listings that may possibly contain these "add-ons" to give users a heads up. We cannot control what authors, movie sites and file distribution sites bundle with their free offerings. The best we can do is try to phase them out of our listings with alternatives that do not contain such annoyances.

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