How To Minimize Malware Infections Through Downloads

Downloading & File Sharing

You most likely use the internet frequently to find something on the web or to download files, applications, or software updates. Files you download, may contain viruses or other malware that could potentially give cybercriminals access to your computer from a remote location. They then steal your information, damage your computer, or simply use your computer to attack other people. In this article I cover how you can securely download a file from the internet to avoid cyber-attacks.

Why should I Care

Whenever you download content, there is always a risk of inadvertently: Installing adware that enables annoying popup and or unsolicited advertisements
Installing spyware that enables criminals to obtain your private information.
Downloading offensive material, thus allowing viruses on to your computer

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What Can I Do
Here are some precautions you can take to minimize the risk related to downloading and to help protect your computer and data: Only download from websites that are reputable, safe, and trusted. Avoid using peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems to obtain software, games or videos. Cyber criminals use this technology to transmit, viruses, trojans, and other malware.
Ensure you have effective and up-to-date antivirus, antispyware or other anti-malware software running before you start downloading. Antivirus programs, detects, and blocks any potentially harmful file or application. Never deactivate your antivirus when you are downloading.
Avoid downloading unexpected, or unsolicited attachments. If you need to, then download them first into your computer and scan the file with your up-to-date anti-virus software before opening it. Anti-virus will notify you if a file is unsafe to open. If in doubt, contact the sender and ask if the attachment is legitimate.
Be cautious of files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .bat, .com, or .pif. These file types are dangerous because they can carry viruses.

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