The Internet is an extremely popular resource that millions of people use. However, the unfortunate fact remains that there are many potential problems that lurk in the online world people are simply unaware of. Due to this fact, people get their computer infected by viruses or worse, have their personal information stolen. There are many avenues that virus developers use to try to infect a computer system. Among one of the most widely used methods is by disguising a download to look like a legitimate piece of software so an unsuspecting user will download and install it. Below are a couple of the most effective ways to decide if a software download is safe.
Check the file Extension
The file extension is an important factor to consider in determining whether a software or generalized download is safe. Many viruses end with a .exe extension, which is short for an executable file. While many legitimate software applications have this extension as well, it is still important to take note of. If you are downloading a text file, or a picture, it should not have a .exe file extension; if it does, it is a nefarious file and should be discarded.
Where is it Being Downloaded From?
Before agreeing to download a file, a pop-up window should become visible that will show you the source of the file. If the file is coming from a location you do not recognize, or does not seem to be affiliated with the site you found the link on, do not download it.