As some new system or network need comes up either for myself, or for a client, I may find myself searching the internet for something to fill that need. Obviously this must be done with care and more than a bit of due diligence. There are in fact many excellent resources available from the internet — but when faced with finding a “new” supplier say for something like a utility — how do you decide who you can trust? I’ve been considering this for quite some time now and realized that I have developed some pretty basic “first steps” to establishing some trust in the site or utility that I’m considering.
- First impressions are lasting impressions for me – at least when it comes to a websites home page. If I follow a link to an interesting utility, the page I land on will determine immediately whether I go any further. I expect the page to provide information about the utility, I don’t want flashing “Buy Now” or “Download FREE Now!” buttons offering me a special discount (…why me? Lucky number? I don’t think so!). A site failing this brings me to exit immediately.
- Site References are important to me — things like “How did I get to this site? Was it a link from the page of a website I trust such as TechTarget?” Was it a link which the vendor has paid for — i.e. a purchased advertisement? Are there references on other sites which describe experiences with the utility as to its effectiveness. In other words, can I easily find anything about others experiences with the utility?
- Recommendations from personal contacts plays a large part in my deciding to “trust” a sites offerings.
- I recently downloaded a C++ script from a site I didn’t know and compiled it — a script to provide very basic IO and file creation and deletion information. This was a case where even I with my limited knowledge of C++ scripting could see that what the program was doing would be “safe”. The site I downloaded from wasn’t flashy, but it clearly met my requirements in 1 and 2 above.
With so much “free” available on internet pages a prudent approach to choosing downloads is essential. Selected wisely, much valuable information, utilities or even “free” applications can save time and dollars.