OCS banner and logo
Keeping clients' computers safe and profitable for over 30 years

Home Forms About Current Newsletter subscribe 
Search All Articles

Browse by Category

powered by pmc2m


What is their business model?

Article for: Everyone
Difficulty: Moderate
Importance: Very

In August 2019 I wrote about the need to think about the business model of your browser and search engine. Are you the product? Do you want to let them sell you?

Now, I will generalize that idea. You should think about the business model for every product you use. When you install any program, on a mobile platform or in Windows or MAC, the company / programmer you are dealing with must have some business model. You should think about it.

If it is a commercial program, are they charging enough to stay in business and continue to support you? If they are using the Freemium model (giving you some functions, then charging for more), will enough people purchase it? If it is a labor of love by good-hearted Free and Open Source programmers, can you live with the less frequent updates, and lack of polish?

Recent news of freeware selling you

AVG and Avast are "freemium" antivirus products. In December 2019, Firefox and Google removed them from their extension libraries, because they were spying on their users and selling the information.

A recent study by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) found that 38% of the free VPN products installed malware on your device, while 75% tracked users and sold the information. CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research.

Some free VPN services inject advertising scripts to monetize their service.

Opera browser also has a free VPN service. Their privacy policy explicitly states that they may use Web Beacons and cookies or other data collection services to track you and sell the results to third parties. They claim, as does Avast / AVG, that they anonymize the data.

Mobile apps

Most "free" mobile apps use advertising to finance their business. Those advertisers may or may not respect your privacy. Their advertisement could contain malware. I may try a free program, but usually try to buy it if I will continue to use it. I'd rather pay a few bucks than give access to my device to unknown parties.

Support your software programmer

It is good to support legitimate free software by contributing to them. Hopefully, some of you contribute to: Wikipedia, Keepass, Coretemp, Meminfo and other programs and services we use.

Further reading

Date: February 2020

Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  Please direct questions/suggestions about website to the webmaster