Downloading Programs Safely

file sharing on the iPad
Image by atmasphere via Flickr

One of the great things about the Internet is that you can find almost anything on it. There are websites to listen to music of any kind, or even live radio broadcasts. You can watch streaming videos in High Definition and not miss a beat thanks to faster and faster Internet speeds. Even if your Internet isn’t the top speed, you still have millions of options to choose from, download and enjoy in your offline time. If your computer doesn’t do everything that you want it to already, you can do a search for the desired results and then downloading software to remedy this in minutes.

Technology is a great thing, and the Internet adds the temptation of instant gratification. With everything at your fingertips, it’s easy to just click the “download” button or link on everything that your hard drive has space to hold, but slow down for a moment. Not all files are safe or friendly on the internet. Most people who use the Internet have already heard about viruses and perhaps believe that spam email is the worst culprit. Watch out–downloaded software is a prime hiding place for not only those pesky viruses, but also something called malicious software.

Malicious software is a class of programs made to damage your computer and how it functions; there are sadly many malicious programs floating around on the Internet and a favorite way of getting them onto your computer is to hide them by “piggybacking” them onto a legitimate piece of software and then offering that software up for download.

To keep your computer safe, hold back your itchy mouse-clicking finger from that “download” link unless you’re sure the web site is one that you know to be trustworthy. Large well-reviewed web sites are generally safe. File sharing programs are a big no-no. When in doubt, don’t click “download”.

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