Be wary of your search results.

By Paul

I needed to update Adobe Flash on my computer. I fire up my browser and type in the search bar “adobe flash”.  The search engines are usually faster at finding the product’s download page as compared to looking for it on the companies website.

It wasn’t the search results but the ads that caught my eye. When I searched on Bing I was shown 8 ads. Five of them went to a website offering a download for Adobe Flash but none of them were owned by Adobe. From what I can tell these websites are not malicious, instead they are attempting to drive traffic to their ad covered pages. It is also my understanding that Bing scans these sites to help prevent malicious content from being delivered to your PC.

Google was different. It alternated between zero and one ad. The ad they did show was owned by Adobe and for CS5.5. Just a few weeks ago I did see other ads being served up by Google when searching for “adobe flash”. I am uncertain as to why they are no longer being displayed.

So be careful when searching on the internet. Check the web address before you click. Only download programs from the companies website or a trusted source. If you want to update a program but aren’t sure where to get it from, phone a friend or call your local computer specialist.