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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Downloading software from the web: how safe can you play it?

Downloading software from the web: how safe can you play it?
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Veltliner
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Jul 21, 2008, 02:56 AM
 
I'm currently testing different RAW converters, and was led to this one.

http://www.raw-photo-processor.com/RPP/Overview.html

It's made by a private software engineer in San Francisco, using floating point calculation, which nixes rounding errors, that lower image/conversion quality.

I'm sure this software is OK, but until now I never downloaded anything when I didn't really know the source.

Can you download software and sniff it out if it's safe?
     
MacosNerd
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Jul 21, 2008, 08:21 AM
 
is it in macupdate or versiontracker? I generally like to see a track record in either of those sites before I feel comfortable.
     
forumhound
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Jul 21, 2008, 08:34 AM
 
Velt, we have no choice here. 99.9% of all software is downloaded from the web, and if u have a mac, i don't think u need to worry too much. just run time machine before installing anything. good luck!

Dead MBP 2.2 4gig / New Aluminum iMacs / "Old" iPhones / 1st Gen Ipod Shuffle
     
zro
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Jul 21, 2008, 10:17 AM
 
Well, according to Softpedia... it's clean.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 21, 2008, 04:29 PM
 
I go with a trust-but-verify approach. I have a spare account on my computer that I nuke and pave regularly to use as a sandbox when needed.
Chuck
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Big Mac
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Jul 21, 2008, 04:37 PM
 
Mac users don't have to worry that much. There has only been one real case of an OS X download containing malicious code.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
besson3c
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Jul 21, 2008, 04:50 PM
 
I wear a condom.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jul 21, 2008, 05:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
Well, according to Softpedia... it's clean.
Thanks! I missed that one. Only had the home page.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jul 21, 2008, 05:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
nuke and pave.
This SOUNDS great!

Like a Franchise of something really, really...

PS: That different account would be separated from the other software? And can't "infect" it.

Then that's a sure way to go.

Usually, I only download from acknowledged sites, and as little as possible.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jul 21, 2008, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I wear a condom.
Around your hard drive?
     
mduell
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Jul 21, 2008, 06:53 PM
 
On most platforms I'd test software inside a virtual machine... unfortunately Apple won't let you do that.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 21, 2008, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
That different account would be separated from the other software? And can't "infect" it.
It's a normal user account. It doesn't have write access to any systemwide directories, including /Applications. Like mduell said, a virtual machine would be preferable, but an unprivileged user account is kind of a poor man's version.

Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
Usually, I only download from acknowledged sites, and as little as possible.
Honestly, I can't say that's me. Ever since System 7 or so, my family would always download a lot of shareware. There are so many useful apps and fun games out there that it's a shame it miss out in fear, I think.
Chuck
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wataru
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Jul 21, 2008, 11:01 PM
 
If you have OS X 10.5 you can use a guest account, which automatically gets wiped every time you log off.
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jul 22, 2008, 03:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
my family would always download a lot of shareware. There are so many useful apps and fun games out there that it's a shame it miss out in fear, I think.
I saw in this thread, the risks are minor.

Maybe my biological hard drive got infected by PC worry virus. Running my personal disk warrior right now.
     
ajwitherby
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Jul 22, 2008, 02:14 PM
 
Mac? Virus? What?
     
Veltliner  (op)
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Jul 22, 2008, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post

Maybe my biological hard drive got infected by the PC worry virus.
Now what could that mean?
     
   
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