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Download Store Safety Tips

It’s usually tempting to download different types of digital content off of the Internet, especially now that so many new programs are being created. However, if you don’t choose your download store carefully, you could end up with a malware-infected device. The following will help you keep safe as you purchase items from a download store:

1. Stay away from automatic downloads.

Every now and then, you may come across sites that attempt to download and install software on your computer without you asking them to. Avoid these sites at all costs, unless you’re sure of its trustworthiness. Automatic or drive-by downloads are often used by infected sites to plant malware in your computer. Upon encountering them, reject such downloads instantly. Click Cancel as fast as you can or just close your browser. If you failed to stop the download and the file is already in your computer, give it a virus scan or just delete it straight away. Unless you know for sure it is safe, do not open the file.

2. Stick to products made by trusted sources.

The first cardinal rule in the use of download stores is to pick one that is well-known and reputable. More than anything, the site should have a reputation for being safe and reliable. Fortunately, a fast online search can provide all you have to know about a certain download store before you start downloading.

Accepting and initiating a software download is a big no-no if you haven’t read the documentation. There are so many websites on the web that feature software reviews and ratings, so do check them out to add to your peace of mind. Make sure these are independent sites, however, and not marketing sites maintained by the developers themselves.

3. Put your antivirus software to use to check potential downloads.

Rock solid and up-to-date antivirus software is one of the best things you can have on your computer to shield it from threats. Use this software to scan files prior to installation. To do this, you usually have to right-click on the file and select the scan option. The antivirus software will give the downloaded software a check and tell you if it’s safe or not.

4. Look at the file specs for signs of authenticity.

A good way to check file authenticity is by comparing the name and size of the file to the information provided on the download store’s website. File specs can be easily viewed if you right-click on the file and select Properties. If there are any disparities, it could be a sign that the file is infected.

The tips above are but some that you have to practice when purchasing digital content from download stores. Needless to say, you should never download anything whose safety you cannot ascertain.

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