It is possible to get nearly any piece of software for free online. Whether it is paid or free, you should be careful enough when downloading a software program over the internet. Anything you download from the Internet or an electronic bulletin board system could have a virus. malware or something that may harm your device, steal your information etc.
With so many issues surrounding cyber security these days, it’s no surprise why the average people are sceptical about downloading software onto their computers. Even sometimes windows seemed to have some pretty significant security flaws when it launches a new version of operating system.
There are certain precautions you need to take before downloading any software onto your PC. And this remains true when it comes to downloading games or other unpopular software. However, below are some tips that you should consider before downloading a software on your device.
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1. Use an Antivirus:
It does not really matter how careful you are, an installed antivirus (full version) will always keep you safe. An antivirus will try to provide you with some important layers of protection. However, you should set your antivirus to update frequently and automatically.
2. Check website security:
Check the website is using HTTPS rather than HTTP. HTTPS is a sign of a secure website. So, you should only download your software that has that kind of security. And also see for security approved logos. Also, it may happen you want to download a piece of paid software from pirate sites but be careful because even though you may get paid software for free, most of them aren’t safe and may contain files that harm your device.
3. Search for Reviews:
Before you go ahead with downloading, look for reviews from other legitimate users. If a program is hosted on a site like download.com, you may see reviews right on the download page.
4. Try a Sandbox:
Sometimes advanced users can install an app in a sandbox to ensure it can’t mess up the system and see what it does without the risk. Another most amazing feature of the sandbox is that Virtual Machines could also be used as Sandboxes. This is a feature that advanced users can use to make sure the apps that look suspicious are safe or not.
5. Download from Official Sites:
It is called a very safe practice when you download a program from its official site. So, instead of visiting websites to get the software, try to get it directly from authorized publishers. If you download from a third-party site, then there is a possibility of malware sneaking into your computer. Also, there are a plethora of apps such as Yep!Download that are safe to download any application.
6. Don’t click on Everything:
Sometimes, when trying to download something, we get a large number of download buttons in front of us which makes it really difficult for a new user to know which one to click on. Try avoiding such websites as they are only trying to trick you into downloading something that’s not legit and it may consist virus. Moreover, when you receive an email in spam, just delete it.
7. Watch out for PUPs:
If your antivirus warns you that a download includes, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), you can safely install it- but only if you are careful. In fact, you should always watch out for PUPs when installing software.
The above-mentioned steps aren’t too hard to follow and they only require you to become a little vigilant in your internet usage. You can avoid all kinds of malware/virus altogether if you just pay attention to what you’re downloading or clicking.