After the economy collapse in 2008 we began to see a lot of foreclosures due to layoffs and other financial problems that came with money drying up in the US. One thing that came to light was Robo-Signing for mortgages that caused many lawsuits against banks for how they had homeowners signing mortgage paperwork. So how does this relate to EULA?.

Have you ever installed a piece of software and got a screen asking you if you agree to the terms?. I would say every one of us have, and we usually just click “I agree” and move on. Well a white paper came out by US-CERT.gov exposing what may be hiding in those EULA that we just agree to without reading.

One thing is these EULA’s are legally binding. Courts have determined that they are legitimate. So some companies are using this to add other notices into that you may ignore. Like notifying you that by installing the software you agree to allow the software to collect data about you, or track your usage and everything you do on your pc, then ship that data off to other companies who may use your CC information or sites you visit to exploit your habits. As you can imagine, this is very dangerous and in ways breaching your privacy to the point that many will begin to not even trust their own PC’s. If you use the internet and your PC smart,  it is an awesome tool, but you have to always be careful. Here is a few things you can do to ensure you will be able to sleep well at night knowing your computer and data is protected.

1. Make sure all software you install is from a company that has a good reputation. If you don’t know … Google them, you will be amazed how much information is out there.

2. Always read the EULA. never just accept the terms.

3. If you’re really paranoid, look into encryption software that will encrypt all data on your hard drive.

4. If you still are not comfortable look into Linux OS that you can run from a CD. This ensures that nothing gets installed and it is completely separate from your windows install. All you need to do is put in the CD, restart your computer and boot from the CD. You can use it to do shopping and logging into your bank, then when you’re done just remove the CD and restart your PC and you will be back into your windows install.

Here is the link to the notice by US-CERT http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/EULA.pdf

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