Softonic prides itself on its transparency with its users, its partners and the market in which it operates. In furtherance of this principle, this Software Policy is aimed at ensuring that developers, users, advertisers and the general public are aware of the guidelines applying to software and applications, and their behaviour, available on the Softonic sites. There are further specific guidelines applying to specific language sites or services of Softonic.
A) Basic Principles
- The software or application should propose and deliver a clear valuable proposition to users.
- Softonic reserves the right to not make available from its websites, software or applications that Softonic, in its discretion, considers to be or related to malware, spyware or viruses, nor potential threats to a user´s privacy.
- The unintended download of software or applications without user consent (“drive-by downloads”) will not be allowed.
B) Disclosure and Clear Behaviour
- At the time of installation, users should be able to clearly understand the principal and significant functions of the software and the specific effects the software will have on their computers.
- The software or application should have a verified signature obtained from a trusted certificate authority.
- The landing page relating to the software or application must clearly identify the owner of the software or application, with a valid physical mailing address and email that’s clearly visible.
- The software or application should not be installed silently on the user’s device.
- Users should be given a meaningful opportunity to review all proposed installation options and system changes when installing software, and they must not be misled or deceived when approving such changes.
- Users should be given a “skip all” functionality on the first offer page for all ads or offers included in bundled software.
- The name of each bundled application should be clearly visible to the user and be clearly disclosed prior to download.
- Neither the primary software nor any bundled application may perform ad injection.
- Software or applications should not engage in deceptive behavior (for example, misleading advertising or scare tactics).
- Software and applications should not engage in unexpected behavior, included but not limited to:
- Negatively impact system performance beyond reasonable user expectations
- Hinder or hijack default usability of the system
- Circumventing technical protection measures of other applications or content
- Sniffing or altering network traffic, unless it is the disclosed core functionality of the software
- Take measures to evade anti malware testing
- Software and application updates should be conspicuously notified to the user. If the update affects a main functionality, the user will have to approve it.
- Software and applications must follow current browser modification policies.
- Software and applications that seek to collect or transmit personally identifiable information, must do so in a transparent way by clearly stating the specific information that will be collected or transmitted.
- Financial and other sensitive information should not be processed without encryption.
- Software and applications must not send spam.
C) Clear Uninstallation Process
- It should be easy for users to disable or delete any software or application from the user´s system or device.
- Users must not be charged for software or application removal, and they must not be required to go through a lengthy process of unrelated uninstall tasks.
- Users should not be presented new offers during the uninstall process or after finishing it.
- If additional options are presented to the user, the option to completely remove the software or application should be the most prominent one.
- Uninstallation cannot impact unrelated files or otherwise utilize tricks or scare tactics to deter uninstallation. An example of such a tactic is a misleading claim about negative effects to the user’s computer or privacy.
- Software and applications that affect or change a computer’s settings should be reverted. In case of browser’s modifications it must clearly indicate how the user can undo those changes.
- Once the software or application is disabled or deleted, it may not leave any remnants or programs, and may not remain active or be automatically enabled later by itself or another software or application.
Softonic reserves the right to immediately reject any software or applications, or blacklist software or applications from appearing on its websites, in breach of this policy, or considered harmful to its users, its image or its interests, in its sole discretion. This policy is constantly being refined. We count on your help for detecting breaches of it and improving it, so please do not hesitate to contact us.