The Internet contains vast amount of information and information such as ebooks and software can easily be obtained by downloading it into your computer. This will save time and effort and everything can also be automated. You can download the files even though you’re on a different time zone.
However, even though downloading files from the Internet have many advantages, there are some disadvantages because the files that you’ve downloaded maybe are malicious threats. Before downloading any files to your computer, I have six tips you should know so you can be more secure when downloading files from the Internet.
1. File Size
First of all, look at the file size of the files that you want to download. For example, you want to download freeware software from a web site and you know that the software file size should be around 12 or 13 MB. But on that web site, it says 234 kB. You need to be very careful with this as it might be a virus or trojan because the size is just not right.
Many people have been tricked to download this type of file and the files turn out to be malicious software.
Use a firewall before downloading any files. If the files you’ve downloaded are trying to send privacy information to the hackers, it will not be able to do so because the firewall will block its outgoing traffic.
3. File Extension
File extensions is very important when downloading files from the Internet. File extension with .exe and have a small file size might be malicious software. It would be better you have an antivirus that will terminate the connection every time you tried to download any malicious software.
I have this one time when I was trying to download a files with .exe extension from the Internet without knowing it’s a trojan. My antivirus (I used Avast! at that time) terminate the connection immediately because it recognizes the file as a trojan. So, when you want to download any files, watch the extension. Files with double extension such as FILENAME.img.exe are mostly malicious software because it tries to trick you to think that it’s not malicious software.
As I told you from my story, I was saved from downloading malicious software by my antivirus and therefore, I strongly advise you to find an antivirus right now. If you don’t have any antivirus or anti-spyware programs on your computer, your computer might be infected.
Websites such as download.com provide comment section or feedback for the download. Always read the download feedbacks before downloading because it will help you to know if the files are malicious software.
6. Internet Explorer Add-On
Use Internet Explorer Add-On that will tell you if the website you’re visiting contains threats that can affect your computer. Use add-on such as McAffe Site Advisor that you can download for free because this add-on will advise you which websites are safe to visit.
As I mentioned in the first tip, you need to know the file size before downloading. If you don’t know the file size, Google it and visit the website which the site advisor add-on consider as safe.
There is no complete solution to computer security. The only way you can be sure your computer will be safe from any threats is by turning it off and sealed it in a sealed box. But what we can do is arm ourselves with essential security knowledge as it will help us in many ways.