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How Can I Spot A Genuine Update Request?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management, Security Help

Gary from Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland writes:

Hi Worldstart, How do you differentiate between a genuine request to update say flash from Adobe from a rogue request?

Great question Gary. It’s important to keep programs like Flash updated for security purposes, but getting updates from third parties can cause a lot of issues.

There are several ways these updates¬† can cause you problems. One would be a straight-up fake update that downloads malware onto your PC. Another would be an actual update with malware attached and there are updates that really do update your Flash, but add on toolbars, switch your search provider and change your homepage.¬† These aren’t technically malware, since you did permit them to be installed, but they are often unwanted.

It’s a lot of work to set any of these situations right, so the best cure is prevention.

Be wary of update notices that pop up when you’re online. A genuine Adobe notice is in a window like this:


When you click on it, it takes you directly to Adobe’s update page. The safest thing to do is just to head over to Adobe’s update page. The web address is


But even Adobe isn’t innocent in including extra programs with their downloads. Unless you want to download and install McAfee Security Scan Plus, make sure you uncheck the box for the Optional offer.


Once you choose Install, you’ll see this window asking where you’d like the file saved.


The file will likely go to your download folders.


Double-click on the Adobe Install file and this Window will pop up asking for permission to run the installer.


Choose Run and another window will open asking for permission to install. Installation should only take a minute or so. You’ll see this notice that installation is complete. Then click Finish.


Your Flash Player should now have the latest updates. My advice is always to head straight to the Adobe Flash download page.

~ Cynthia.



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3 Responses to “How Can I Spot A Genuine Update Request?”

  1. Fern Bronaugh says:

    Thank you so much for this info – I was just concerned about updates. Thank you for helping to keep us safe and free of many problems.

  2. diane says:

    Your message arrived a bit late for me as I had a spoof popup notice which said it was adobe and having clicked on update I ended up with a lot I did not want. I removed the unwanted programme with your help of your site but the continual pop ups made the computer unusable
    Now I would only update from Adobes site

  3. Jadesqr says:

    A paragraph or two about, “Note: Your Antivirus software…” would be helpful as my ‘Norton’ antivirus doesn’t like the Adobe update and dropping my firewall is not something I enjoy.

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