Index Ask! Random

Question: Can I Download Software That's Not Verified?

Hi doug,
I want to be able to play .ogg format files using windows media player, so I
need to download some kind of software, but when I do this, i am warned by
my virus protetion that the publisher could not be verified. is it safe to
run the software? hope you can help me,
thanks very much


There's no real good answer to that question. If there was a good answer to the question, your browser and/or virus software wouldn't need to pop up that window - it would make the decision for you.

The "Publisher could not be verified" message is a message you'll see all over the place. It simply means that the publisher hasn't digitally signed the software download. Most of the big name companies have their downloads digitally signed, but sometimes I'm surprised by the big name companies that don't have their downloads signed.

Then you get to people who are giving away free software (in particular, you find this among "Open Source" projects, and ogg is an open source project). They're giving away free software, and because the software is constantly changing, they don't want to go through the hassle of digital signing.

It comes down to a matter of trust. How much do you trust the publisher? Are you confident that this publisher is not posting software that is infested with viruses and/or spyware?

The best thing you can do is to run a search on the name of the company (or their website name) and find out what other people are saying about them. If you find that they've been around for years, and people generally have positive things to say about them, then by all means, go ahead and do the download.

Keep in mind that when you get the message saying the publisher could not be verified, that does not mean that there is something wrong with the software - it simply means that your web browser doesn't know anything about the source of this download. And in the final analysis it is you who has to make that decision.

Bookmark and Share