List of things to check before downloading material from the Internet
The internet is all fun and games until you download a file from a website and your computer becomes infected with malware and viruses. Internet security has become a huge priority, especially over the years. Viruses and malware are more dangerous than ever, and you should always go through this list of things to check before downloading anything online.
List of things to check before downloading
This is not an exhaustive list of things to do before downloading. There are a lot of things to check, but this will help you download better without putting your computer at risk.
You should always check official and verified sources when looking for something. For example, if you need something about Microsoft, you should check first Official Microsoft website. Do not consider third-party sources as your priority. You will be at risk of downloading something malicious, but there is always a chance that you could download pirated software and cause yourself further problems.
Things to check before downloading – SSL certificate
An SSL certificate will create an encrypted and secure connection between your browser and the server. You should always check that any website you download stuff from has an SSL certificate. Here’s what you need to do.
- Any website you visit should start HTTPS:. Make sure this.
- Another thing you should always check is if there is lock symbol next to the URL.
- Click on lock sign This will display a window indicating that the site is secure.
If you visit the site and instead of the lock, you will see Not safeI suggest you stay away from the site and avoid downloading anything from it.
A TLD, or top-level domain, is part of a .com, .org, .edu, etc. URL. Hackers or fraudsters often register their sites with a different TLD than the official site for something. For example, instead of opening the official one Microsoft.com site, you can open a fake site for Microsoft with a different TLD. So make sure you enter the correct TLD and download from the site with the correct TLD.
What to check before downloading – Domain age
Even if the site has SSL or a strong TLD, but you are still hesitant about it for some reason, you should search for Domain Age. Scam sites are usually relatively new. Therefore the age of their domain is young. There are many tools to check these details. However, you can try using who is and check the details for any site you want.
By using this site, you may receive information such as when it was registered, when it was last updated, etc. This will help you decide if you want to download from the site or not. So if you’re downloading from a site that looks suspicious to you or if you’ve never heard of it before, checking the age of the domain is a good way to go.
You can always check the reviews of the site and see if other people have trusted their site and regretted their decisions or not. Enter to do this allintitle: site name enter the Google search engine and press Enter. This will provide articles and reviews and more information about the site. If the site is a scam, you will most likely come across that information.
Online scanner tools
There are various online tools that will help you scan the site for viruses and alert you if something should not be downloaded. Open the website VirusTotal: and install URL: where will you download from?
If something suspicious happens, you will be notified immediately. You will receive CLEAN green signal if you are safe to go.
Popular file extensions like jpeg, png, pptx, etc. give you information about what kind of file you’re downloading. If it’s a jpeg, you know you’re downloading an image; if it’s docx, you know it’s a document. For software files, you usually get .exe. These are the most dangerous extensions and you should never download such files from an unofficial source or any questionable third-party website. You should also avoid .rar or .zip files from non-authentic sources as they may also contain malicious files.
Your firewall and antivirus should be turned on, especially when you download things from the Internet. Sometimes when you stream things from unsecured websites, viruses and malware can be accidentally downloaded. So don’t turn off your antivirus while using the internet.
I hope these tips help you make better download choices in the future. If you have any other tips for us, let us know in the comments below.