Follow These Tips to Download Safely

Follow These Tips to Download Safely

June 9, 2020

Any time you download a file from the internet, you are potentially exposing your computer to viruses, malware and other “infections” that can range from inconvenient to devastating. Unless you want to be sending out your bank and credit card details to thousands of people, or sharing all of your photos and search history with the world, you need to be cautious when downloading files from the internet.

Here are our best tips for downloading safely in St. Charles County, MO:

  • Have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed: The best way to combat viruses and malware is to make sure that you have reliable anti-virus and anti-malware software installed on your computer. These programs will scan the files you’re downloading and let you know if they sense any sort of problem with what you’re installing—it’s the easiest and best way to keep your computer clean.
  • Make sure you know what you’re downloading: It’s all too easy to point and click “yes” when we see an interesting app or other software—but do you really know what you’re downloading? Just because it looks fun and free doesn’t mean it won’t harm your computer. Be sure to know what type of file you’re downloading, the file extension and what it will be used for.
  • Ask for trusted recommendations: Your family and friends are great sources of information. If you’re looking for a particular type of software, ask your network what they recommend—they’ll tell you what works well for them as well as what they would not suggest.
  • Google if you’re unsure: If you don’t have any experience with a certain type of software, and your network didn’t recommend an alternative for you, the best thing you can do is Google the app you’re downloading. You’ll quickly find out if it’s a legitimate program or if users have found problems with it.
  • Decide whether you really need it: Another consideration: do you really need this software? If it’s just a cool-looking game with no reviews and no legitimate sources to back it up, you might want to skip it entirely. Unethical developers make their products look legitimate and then install spyware on your computer—avoid this by being choosy about what you install on your computer and other devices.
  • Never pirate apps or media: It’s tempting to pirate software and media, but if you want to keep your computer in working order, we recommend you avoid doing so. Not only is it illegal, which could subject you to fines and jail time, but pirating software opens you up to major computer vulnerabilities.
  • Only download from reputable sites: Finally, make sure the site you’re downloading from is reputable. Sites like Google Play and the Windows store pre-screen apps to ensure they’re safe for use—look for and ask about reputable third-party reviewers to make sure that your software is safe to use.

Are you suffering from viruses and malware? Computer Paramedic can help—for more downloading safety tips in St. Charles County, MO, or for assistance with getting your computer back to normal, call us today.

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