There is always a possibility to download malware or viruses on the computer and no one is immune from it. Still, there are ways to protect yourself from incautious download and save your sensible information together with OS and crucial files of your computer.
- Determine what you are downloading. Take into consideration that if you are downloading adult content or cracked programs the chance that you will receive malware or viruses is much higher. So if the file you want looks suspicious than there is a pretty good chance that it will harm your PC.
- Take a look on the site you are downloading from. If it is too simple and looks like a template then the files taken from there will be contaminated with great probability.
- Who is the author and the source of the file you are downloading. If you get a file from Windows, the chances that you will catch viruses there are really small.
- Look through the site – who else downloaded the file you want to? In most cases there are forums attached to the sites with downloadable files. Check whether there are complaints on the file – if there are no complaints, most likely that you will not have them either.
- Check the size of the file. Compare it with the size of similar files of that format. If it is too small – do not download it.
- Look on the file extension. Avoid downloads of ‘.exe’, ‘.bat’, ‘.pif’, and ‘.scr’ as in most cases when you try to open these executable files you will receive nothing than a malware on your computer. Pay special attention to the files with double extension like .doc.exe’ as such files are executable
- The executable file should be licensed. Otherwise, if running of this file will not open a license warning, prepare to cure computer from viruses invasion.
Here are some tips that can help you:
- Use add-ons like McAfee SiteAdvisor, Norton SafeWeb, and BitDefender TrafficLight that will block suspicious sites
- Use reliable and relevant anti-virus
- Search the name of the fie in the search engines – if there are problems with such files you will see them
- Use WHOIS site help to check credibility of the site