That doesn't sound right. A lot of malware impersonates Flash Player because of it's popularity. While we *do* offer the McAffee Virus Scanner or the Google Chrome browser as optional downloads as part of our cost-recovery measures for products offered free of charge, we're not bundling a half-dozen thing. My guess is that you clicked on a fake pop-up that directed you to a shady download.
If you're ever in doubt about whether an update dialog is legitimate or note, download Flash Player directly from the Adobe website, by going to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer. As an alternative, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer I0 on Windows 8+ both include Flash Player as a built-in component of the browser, so there's nothing separate to download and update.
Thanks for your reply, Jeromie.
I'm 99.999% sure that it was a genuine Adobe update notice and dialog window. I've done this many times in the past over the years and there was nothing to alert me that it wasn't genuine. It even finished with the usual "Thank you for using Adobe Flash Player" type page and checking for further updates, like it does!
By the way, I don't know why you needed to remove loupop13's reply to my post. It now seems as if I'm the only person this has happened to. I know you said that you had 'branched' it into a new discussion, but wouldn't that have fitted just as well in this discussion?
The descriptions of the issues were pretty different. I'm interested in getting issues investigated and resolved, and it makes more sense to just troubleshoot them individually as they appear to be distinct.
I believe that you should have been forwarded to a page that looks like this, with the option to uncheck the offer. We have seen some reports where third-party ad blocking and privacy plug-ins like Ghostery short-circuit the software running on the page and prevent this middle pane from being populated. Visitors never see the central pane, so they're unable to opt-out. I'm curious to know if that aligns with your experience.
The thing that piqued my suspicion was that you've described six or eight bundled software packages as having been included, which is definitely not what a legitimate bundle would include. Can you tell me what the packages that you believe were included were?
I DID get the 'middle pane' - which I am very used to seeing and, as always, unchecked the box to receive the unwanted programs (I already have Google Chrome AND an excellent anti-virus program - thanks all the same!).
But it then went on to offer me additional programs. I did not take any screenshots as I was not expecting all this palaver. And I don't remember what the programs were that I was offered either. I just wanted to get on with the download and get on with my business. I was getting very frustrated though. As I said earlier, underneath the small dialog window which was offering these programs (and which, if I remember aright, was inside the main window) - the "Accept" and "Decline" buttons were still visible BUT it looked as if the "Accept" button was the only active one (being highlighted) whereas the "Decline" button was greyed out. And, as I said before, it 'looked' as if one needed to click the "Accept" button to agree to the Conditions of downloading (which is quite normal, as you know).
But being of a wary nature and hopefully not as gullible as some, I tentatively clicked on the "Decline" button anyway - and it worked. The offer of those one or two extra programs was then replaced by one or two more - in the same type of small window. Having learned my lesson, I continued to decline and eventually got to the end. But this experience did make me feel most irritated, as I indicated in my original post. It should not be necessary to be expected to jump through all these misleading hoops just to update an every day program, should it?
You could uninstall and re-install an older version to re-create the process
Here's an archive of older versions. They're intended for developers and contain all of the various plug-ins we distribute. If you grab Flash Player 188.8.131.52 and run the appropriate installer (I was unclear on the browser you're using, but use 14_0_r0_145/flashplayer14....winax.exe for Internet Explorer and 14_0_r0_145/Flash...win.exe for Firefox.
You should get the update notification within 24 hours of installing the old version. A video capture of the process would be tremendously helpful in understanding what's going on.
Thanks for your help Jeromie. If it happens again next time I have to update the program, I shall take screenshots and come back here with them.