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Downloading Software installs McAfee Security Scan without permission

New Here ,
Apr 23, 2018 Apr 23, 2018

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When I downloaded the Adobe Flash Player, it also downloaded McAfee Security Scan without asking my permission.  Please do not download third party software without my consent.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 27, 2018 Apr 27, 2018

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I've personally followed up on several dozen reports like this.  Given sufficient information, I am always happy to follow-up again.

That said, every time I look at this, it consistently comes down to a situation where a third-party browser plug-in (ad-blocker, anti-tracking plugin, etc.) caused the JavaScript on the page to execute in a way that was different than what was actually written (e.g. they blocked the UI with the opt-out), or the software was downloaded through a third-party UI (a browser add-on manager, etc.), which linked directly to the assets that had the optional bundled offers.

In general, the following always works:

  • Always get Flash Player directly from Adobe, at https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
  • If you use browser plug-ins that interfere with the normal operation of the page, you'll want to whitelist them or disable those plug-ins temporarily

Once you have Flash Player installed, you can completely avoid this workflow (and the possibility that any bundles get installed), by doing the following:

  • Choose Allow Adobe to Install Updates (recommended)
    Future updates to Flash Player will be installed automatically.  You'll never see a bundled offer unless you need to reinstall.
  • Use a browser that includes Flash Player as a built-in component
    In these instances, there's nothing to install, and updates are handled by the browser or operating system
    • IE and Edge on Win8+
      Both include Flash Player as a built-in component, and updates are delivered through Windows Update
      There's nothing separate to download or install
    • Google Chrome on all platforms
      Flash Player is a built-in component of Chrome.  Updates are delivered by Chrome's update mechanism

In the very unlikely event that you encounter a situation where the wrong payload was deployed (i.e. you opted out, but got the bundled offer anyway), I'd be more than happy to investigate.

Adobe uses a global Content Distribution Network (CDN) to deliver content.  Knowing the geography and language in play might help me track down any highly localized problems with a specific CDN node or translated page.

The following information about your environment is also always helpful and appreciated:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1195540

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