Keep even legal software to a minimum

People who use illegal or pirated content put themselves at risk of having their devices compromised through malware ('Free' illegal downloads could cost you big in malware; Sept 19).

However, it should be noted that it is not just users of illegal content who are at risk of malware.

Recently, I installed CCleaner - a legitimate free software - into a new laptop.

I had been using an older version of CCleaner for years without any problem but after my recent update, I sensed that my computer was slower and I promptly uninstalled it.

Yesterday, it was reported that hackers had successfully breached CCleaner's security to inject malware into the software.

It was shocking to read that the malware had gone undetected for nearly a monthand, to date, it is estimated that close to two million users have installed the compromised software.

To reduce the risk of malware, people should not only avoid illegal or pirated content or software,but they should also try to keep the number of legitimate software or applications installed on their laptops, phones and other handheld devices to a bare minimum.

Wherever possible, it also seems better to use paid software over free ones (even legitimate free ones), as the paid ones may possess better security features.

Chan Yeow Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2017, with the headline 'Keep even legal software to a minimum'. Print Edition | Subscribe