PCs

Yet another thing you should do before you buy a new PC

Saving a few bucks by buying from a shady vendor could cost you dearly in the long run.

Bill Detwiler gave me a heads up on a September 13, 2012, article published by CBS News with the provocative title: Some new PCs infected before boxes even opened. The gist of the story was that there are several disreputable vendors in the world selling PCs which have counterfeit software installed on them. So, if you buy one, you are basically infected with malware before you even get your new PC out of the box it was shipped in.

The CBS News article was primarily focused on Microsoft's efforts to expose these counterfeiters and put them out of business through legal actions. The news takeaway was probably a bit overwrought, but I had a separate takeaway - whatever you do, whatever you may think you are saving in initial cost, do not buy PCs from shady vendors.

I know this is obvious to most TechRepublic members, but the problem described is apparently more prevalent in less tech savvy parts of the world. No matter where you are or where you are getting your equipment from, you should expect and insist on proper license documentation.

In fact, that might be another aspect to add to the various new PC tips articles we have published through the years.

Where do you draw the line when it comes to vendors? Have you received equipment that was missing the licensing information or other proper documentation? What procedures does your organization have in place to prevent the inadvertent acquisition of counterfeit PCs?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

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