At some point, I am sure you have had the opportunity to download files from the internet. Whether it be an app, driver, update, etc., downloading is a very important part of being on the internet. Do not take it lightly! Downloading files may seem benign, but believe me, downloaded files can cause an unbelievable amount of damage. Below are 5 tips to help you download safely.
5 Tips for Downloading Files
- Know where you are downloading from. There are many sites out there that you think may be legitimate but they are filled with viruses and malware. You need to be careful as to where you are redirected because you most likely will end up at an unknown source. In order to prevent this, you can adjust your settings to “disallow the installation of programs from unknown sources”. Even if you over-ride it, it is still safer to have that setting checked off.
- Check out the reviews. This is a great way to find out how legitimate your download is. Remember, there are thousands and thousands of free apps. You will want to look at the reviews anyway to hone in on the one you think is best for you. You don’t want to download 15 apps before you find the one that is right for you. Reading the reviews will help quite a bit.
- Make sure your system is protected. The last think you want to do is download something without antivirus or antispyware. This could be catastrophic. If you are using Windows 10, they have a very good built in protector called Windows Defender. Make sure it is turned on and working beffore you download anything. You also need this turned on for web surfing.
- Be careful to download ONLY what you need. Many sites, even reputable ones, add other programs to your download. This is called bloatware. You don’t need bloatware like search toolbars, registry cleaners, etc. loaded on your PC.
- Only download legitimate files. There is a ton of cracked and pirated software out there. You certainly don’t want something illegal. A cracked version is a modified version of the programs you think you are downloading. Hackers thrive on these and add all kinds of things to make you vulnerable. You also want to make sure you do not download illegal movies. This of course, is against the law.
We often freely download from the internet without knowing or weighing the risks. I hope these 5 tips for downloading files helps keep you safe!
Sheryl Cherico, CEO
Sheryl is also the CEO of Discovery Computers and Forensics and she is The Healthcare IT Girl. Check out her blog!