Downloading from the internet is a quick and easy way to find the content you’re looking for. But it can open up your computer to security threats. Some downloads are infected with viruses and malware can make your computer run slowly, find ways to steal your data and even make your computer completely unusable.
To avoid these common downloading problems, you need to take care of your computer security. Here are seven security tips to keep in mind when downloading from the internet:
Only Use Trusted Websites
Some websites are more trustworthy than others when it comes to downloading. If you’re looking for computer software, head to the software provider’s website. And find reputable sites for other downloads. Doing a little background research will help. You can find out what other internet users are saying about whichever download site you come across.
Update your Virus Protection
When you download from the internet, you can’t always be certain that the file you choose is exactly what it claims to be. Hackers and scammers post fake files that can riddle your computer with viruses and malware. Making sure your virus protection is up to date will help to protect your computer and your data should you download a malicious file by mistake. In these situations, it’s your first line of defense.
Use A VPN
Torrents are a great source of content. Software, games, music, and films are all readily available. But using a torrent site isn’t necessarily 100% legal. To get the files you need without the worry that someone is looking over your shoulder, get a VPN before you download. A VPN provides an encrypted connection between your computer and the website you’re using, giving you an extra level of security.
Read Download Reviews
Many download sites offer user reviews of a download to help you decide whether it’s really worth your time. These reviews are an easy way to assess whether this particular file is what you’re looking for. Read them and take note of any warnings posted.
Find the Real Download Button
If you’re not paying to use a download website, that website will be getting an income from advertising. In these cases, you’ll sometimes find a huge “download” button that leads you to another website rather than the download you’re looking for. Be wary of these buttons. Sometimes they’re just an inconvenience and you have to track back to the website you were on. Other times they could lead you to a site that poses a security threat to your computer. Take your time to locate the real download button before clicking.
Pay To Download
If you’re getting something for free, there’s always a chance that it isn’t reputable or reliable. Paying to use a download site or paying for a particular download is one way to ensure greater security. Again, do your research on the website before handing over your cash to make sure you’re dealing with the good guys.
Trust Your Instincts
In all of our internet experience, we’ve developed something of a sixth sense for dangerous websites and dubious downloads. Even if you can’t put your finger on what bothers you, trust your instincts. Browsing for the right download might take a little time. But it’s worth it to protect the security of your computer.
These days, downloading from the internet is part and parcel of our internet experience. But we need to do so safely to prevent viruses and malware taking hold of our computers. Trust your instincts, do a little digging and use reputable sites where possible to limit any potential harm to your computer or your data.
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about traveling, education, and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Bizset.com and Bizdb.co.nz – an online resource for relevant business information.