Security tip: 5 mistakes to avoid when downloading files

I’ve noticed a lot of questions popping up in my inbox lately about whether the downloads I’ve suggested are safe. the answer is yes. We rigorously test them before recommending anything to readers.

But there are other sites that probably aren’t, so you need to be careful. It’s easy to be careless when downloading files and free programs from the web because it only takes a few clicks, but those clicks can lead you to something you’re not expecting. Tap or click here to ask yourself before clicking any link.

Here are five common mistakes people make when downloading files.

1. You download apps from unknown sources
There are thousands of free applications available online. If you like to try out these free apps, sometimes you may just click on the download link out of curiosity. Be it an Android or iOS device, a Mac or a Windows 10 PC, there are apps out there that are not what they seem.

To prevent rogue apps and programs from being installed, you can choose to disallow installation of programs from unauthorized and unknown sources. Installing apps only from your system’s respective App Store ensures that they have been tested and checked for viruses and malware, as well as that they pass the Store’s security and privacy guidelines.

Here’s an example of a third-party app store recently loaded with malicious apps. Tap or click here to learn why third-party app stores are bad news.

Since there are many Android manufacturers, the instructions for adjusting the settings on your device may differ from the ones we have here. Check your user manual for your specific steps. Tap or click here for thousands of free user manuals online.)

On Android devices, to prevent side loading of non-Google Play approved apps, go to Settings > Apps & notifications Advanced and select Permission Manager. From here, slide the toggle next to “Allow installation of apps from unknown sources” to the left to disable it.

For Windows 10, open Settings > Update & Security > For Developers. Slide the toggle to the left to disable the headers “Developer Mode” and “Install apps from any source, including loose files.”

On Mac, you can block apps from unknown developers from being installed. For an even more secure system, choose Mac App Store only. To access it, open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > click Padlock and enter an administrator password to unlock it, then make sure you’ve set “Mac Stores and Identified Developers Only” or, a similar airtight system For, “Mac Store Only” is selected. ,

iOS devices don’t really have a way to sideload apps unless they’re jailbroken. You still need to be vigilant and read reviews and feedback for apps on iTunes and the Apple App Store before you download and install them.

2. Downloading Without Virus or Spyware Scanner
If you are surfing the web unsafely, please stop. There are many dangers and scams lurking out there that will try to catch you. Remember, it only takes a few clicks to let the bad stuff in, so a little help from security software is always a good thing. Think of it as your personal internet bodyguard.

Windows 10 has its own free built-in scanner called Windows Defender that will protect you from known threats. It does a good job in itself but for even better and complete security, be it Android, Mac or Windows, you can always opt for third party security solutions for that extra peace of mind. Tap or click here to find the best antivirus for PC or Mac.

3. You do not research the application through user feedback and reviews
Before you download a program or free application, make a habit of searching online to find out more about it. Check the name of the program followed by keywords like “scam,” “virus,” or “secure” and see what comes up.

Don’t rely on your site’s reviews of the program and don’t rely on them but check multiple sources. Usually, repeated bad reviews and warnings from multiple sites and user forums are red flags that a particular application is not secure.

4. You download cracked or pirated software and files
Peer-to-peer file sharing is full of “unlocked” or “cracked” versions of paid software. Downloading these so called torrent files of popular paid software can be tempting but you are taking a big risk every time.

Cracked software is a highly modified version of the programs you are about to download. These are not checked by legitimate publishers and hackers can inject anything into them. Software key generators are also applications in their own right and running them blindly can install more than you can deal with.

Also, beware of downloading pirated movies and music.

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