Read the EULA
If you download a lot of software, it can be tempting to just skip
over the End User License Agreement without actually reading it.
This is not a good habit to get into. Some programs have some
pretty dubious conditions of use hidden in the legalese of their
EULA's. For example, by digitally signing the EULA, you may have
given the application developers explicit permission to collect
information such as surfing habits and transmit it back to their
servers. In other words, you may inadvertently give permission for
intrusive, and sometimes unstable, adware to be installed on your
computer. If this intention to collect information from end users
is not mentioned in the EULA, then the program can be thought of as
containing spyware, although the end result is the same.
Furthermore, anti-spyware scanners such as Ad-Aware will not always
flag information-gathering components if their existence has been
noted in a EULA.
Of course, in some cases, you may be quite willing to allow
software components to collect information from your computer in
exchange for using a program for free. However, it is important
that you know about the components before you install the software,
hence a thorough reading of the EULA is worth the effort.
Write-up by Brett M.Christensen