One of the functions of the internet is the ability to give users access to numerous resources, and the ability to let them download myriads of files.
Most people have fallen victim to downloading harmful files that can help hackers take control of their phones, while some files are designed to negatively affect the overall performance of your device.
The question that comes to mind would be how to download files safely on the internet? while shutting out hackers and all forms of malware that may jeopardize your data.
Is It Safe To Download Files From The Internet?
Yes, it is very safe to download from the internet, but there are certain cautions one must take especially when you are using untrusted sites. There are ways to go about it without hurting your device or having your data stolen.
There are millions of websites offering free downloads, while few would prompt you to make purchases before downloading any of their files. Meanwhile, free websites outshine paid websites in the present-day world.
Still, you don’t necessarily need to visit illegal websites before you are exposed to various files that can harm your device. For example, I had a friend named Kelvin who installed a theme on his phone, then he discovered that his phone refuses to boot. He had to solve the problem by performing a factory reset on his phone.
You don’t want to be like Kelvin who did not learn ways of preventing harmful files on his device. That is why this publication will be providing you with tips on how to stay safe even when you’re downloading files from your most trusted websites.
How To Download Files Safely On The Internet
- Choose Trusted Sources
- Verify Website’s Security
- Check Domain Extension
- Watch Out For People’s Comments Or Review About The Download Source
- Use Antivirus
- Don’t be convinced by search engine rankings
Choose Trusted Sources
In your quest of downloading various media files, documents, and more, you are expected to only download files that suit your preference from trusted websites. Examples of trusted websites or apps to download various files from can be the Google Play store, Microsoft.com Apple Play store, and many more.
Some internet users often try to play smart by choosing third-party websites in downloading files that can be accessed through official sources to avoid some sort of verification or payment. Meanwhile, choosing to use these third-party websites or apps means that you are exposing your device to cyber harm that may cost you to lose data and money.
Verify Website’s Security
Downloading files from a protected website minimizes the risk of downloading harmful files into your device. It minimizes the risks in the sense that it will prevent you from downloading files infected with malware. However, a hacker can also create a secured website and also offer the download of files that’ll breach your device security and steal data and information.
You can detect insecure websites and further flee from them by looking out for websites with a padlock before the domain name, this often implies security or encryption of the website.
Another thing to look out for is what comes before the website domain you are accessing, for example, if you’re visiting a website like www.apple.com you are expected to look out for HTTPS before the domain name. An unsecured website will often have the Internet protocol come before the domain name.
A website that’s not encrypted may not mean the website owner is out there to harm you but may lack the financial resources needed to purchase an SSL certificate. However, do note that unsecured websites can easily be compromised by hackers who can in turn manipulate the files you download thereby causing harm.
Check Domain Extension
The next thing to look out for before downloading your file is to check if you’re not accessing a duplicated website. Most internet fraudsters are accustomed to creating a website lookalike to lure victims into revealing their personal information.
For example, a website like www.Godlove.com can be duplicated by a hacker and made to look like a replica of the website. The only thing that’ll help you differentiate between the two websites is that the original website would be www.Godlove.com while the fake may have other domain extensions such as www.Godlove.com.uk.
Accessing a website without checking its domain extensions has led people into losing access to their social media accounts, give out personal information about themselves, and download harmful files.
Watch Out For People’s Comments Or Review About The Download Source
Before trying out a new website app to download all types of files that meet your demand, you can carry out simple research by getting to know what people think about your chosen website.
You can learn from people’s mistakes and experiences thereby knowing if the website can be trusted or not. If for example, I want to know if the Google Play store is a reliable source for downloading apps, I will go to my browser and will input the keyword on Google “Google Play store review” I will further be exposed to numerous information through forums, blog posts and comments about what people feel about Google Play store.
Some Antivirus performs multipurpose functions including helping you detect harmful files. Some mobile browsers like Chrome can potentially warn you of possible threats but some antivirus can help you pinpoint harmful files on your device.
Your chosen antivirus may not need to perform scheduled scans before detecting files that hackers can use in gaining access to your personal information. Meanwhile, some antivirus will only detect the said files during scheduled scans and advise you to remove them permanently.
Anna once downloaded a harmless app, then she started to notice a few apps and games that were not downloaded without my approval. She was tempted to try them out, and they seemed harmless. She became security conscious after discovering that the apps kept reinstalling themselves after uninstalling them, and they kept increasing in numbers.
A few days later, she noticed more apps had been installed without her consent. It took the help of an antivirus to help fight against that malware and further protected her against similar apps.
Don’t be convinced by search engine rankings
Most internet users rely on how a website is ranked on their preferred search engine website and then choose to lower their guard when downloading files online. A website that appears on the first page of Google, Bing, and other search engines may be designed by hackers or a replica of an existing website to lure victims.
Hackers know their way around bypassing your popular search engine websites and can easily get any website on the first page making it look legitimate. You are to replicate all the security checks you’ve learned to stay protected.