Update: Giveaway of the Day has fixed the false virus/malware readings so this post isn’t accurate anymore. Please read this post for more information.
Simply put, this is why:
The above screenshot is a scan done by VirusTotal of the Setup.exe included in the download for today’s giveaway Aplus Total DVD Ripper. The same detections were made for the download of yesterday’s giveaway Batch Picture Resizer.
As I mentioned in my comment on Giveaway of the day for Batch Picture Resizer, unless GOTD is trying to pull a fast one on thousands of people by infesting all our computers with viruses and using the new Software Informer bundle as a cover (ha-ha), these are false positives caused by the Software Informer client in giveaways (it will be included in all giveaways from now on; you are not forced to install it – you can always opt out). These third party client/toolbar things often cause alerts with security software so there is no real need to worry… yet.
In my humble opinion, this new Software Informer bundle is going to hurt Giveaway of the Day in multiple, and lasting, ways. Why? I shall explain.
- Less visitors
For us Giveaway of the Day regulars, we understand that GOTD is a clean website. However for new people who come to GOTD daily, detecting a virus (even if it is a false positive) will turn them away very quickly.
Also, when a security software detects a virus or malware in a file the security software just about makes it hell for you to try to install (at least Avira does this anyway). So if people are unable to install giveaways (even if they trust the giveaway is clean) less people will visit GOTD.
- Public relations nightmare
Website rating services, like WOT and SiteAdvisor, now very well may start marking Giveawayoftheday.com as a dangerous or undesirable website. Furthermore, just by word of mouth people will start to learn that the giveaways given out by GOTD are detected as malware.
- A dent in advertisement revenue
With less people visiting Giveawayoftheday.com and downloading the giveaways, GOTD will quickly become less popular. A less popular website means less and less companies will be willing to pay to advertise on GOTD. Also, the fact that (if) website rating security services like WOT and SiteAdvisor give Giveawayoftheday.com a bad rating, advertisers will again be reluctant to pay to advertise on a website with a bad name.
- Malicious people will take advantage
Malicious people with malicious intent may now try to giveaway a software with a real virus/malware. Since all giveaways are falsely detected as malware now, it will be much harder to detect a real virus/malware if one is actually included in the software being given away.
- Legal issues
Being a legitimate company (more or less), GOTD is viable for lawsuits is people think they are purposefully, or even unintentionally, trying to spread around malware.
All in all I don’t think the money GOTD will earn by teaming up with Software Informer is really worth it. The cons out weigh the pros on in one. My suggestion to GOTD is to either figure out somehow to fix this false positive readings or to ditch Software Informer. Also, to keep its good standing in the community, GOTD should make the Software Informer client install an opt in instead of an opt out (in other words you have to choose to install it rather than choose to not install it). If you disagree with my feel free to post below.