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What does EULA mean?

Susan KeenanThe first time that I came across the acronym EULA, I wondered what it stood for simply because I was unfamiliar with it. Today, this acronym is becoming more widely spread and familiar to most Internet users. EULA refers to End User License Agreement. It's the statement that we need to agree to in order to download software or use specific websites. If we don't agree to the terms within the EULA, we will not be able to access the website or its software. Once most people realize this, they quickly click off the "yes" box whether they have read the EULA or not.

Even if you are tempted to pass up reading the End User License Agreement, you should still read it. I agree that it is all too easy to assume that it does not contain any worthwhile information. I would also have to agree that it often seems as though each End User License Agreement is the same as any other. After all, these paragraphs that seem to say something without actually saying anything all look the same and sound the same.

Nonetheless, we need to pay attention to every EULA that is attached to every website we visit. We shouldn't blithely click off the box in front of the "yes," agreeing to whatever terms are included in an End User License Agreement without actually reading what it says. I admit that it is tempting, especially when the EULA is a particularly long one. It is so much easier to simply click and make the box disappear. However, the EULA is a legal agreement. Once we click on the "yes," we have agreed to whatever the EULA states within it- good or bad.

With all of the spyware that's floating around in cyberspace today, reading the EULA becomes even more important. Some websites aren't quite on the up and up and they include the right to perform various questionable actions within their EULAs. In particular, specific phrasing is included in some of these End User License Agreements that grants permission for the software vendor to install spyware as well as other types of detrimental installations. Some even prohibit you from using tools to remove the associated malicious program! Spyware is an undesirable presence that can disrupt your computer's functioning, modify your operating system, and soak up memory resources.

This is why it is so important to read to the end of the EULA because that is where you are going to find the information that these websites don't actually want you to see. Their EULAs start out innocently enough with basic comments, masking the End User License Agreement into one that is completely harmless.

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