There are few surprises that are worse than finding out that the game you just downloaded for the kids has a virus in it. Now you’re faced with a problem that should not have happened in the first place.
The first rule of downloading
The first rule to safe downloading is to watch out for the sites you go to: the old saw about ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ applies in the computer world as well. If you can’t believe your good luck in finding the latest album you have been wanting for free, the best bet is to past it up! If you have the good fortune to find the latest, hottest game, perhaps you had best stop and think a minute.
The most obvious place
People often get into trouble downloading music, because the hackers and virus writers know how popular downloading music has become. What better target for them? There are lots of opportunities to do their nefarious deeds to unsuspecting music lovers.
One of the quickest ways to protect yourself is to immediately scan the downloaded file for viruses and malware. Usually you can right click on the file and some of your options are, for example,
- “Scan with AVG Antivirus,”
- “Comodo Antivirus”
- “Scan with Malware Bytes Anti-Malware,” and/or
- “Scan using Spybot-Search&Destroy.”
If, for some unknown reason, you don’t have an antivirus program, you’re opening yourself up to loads of grief and problems. Go immediately to some place like download.com, search on ‘antivirus’ and download one of the many available FREE antivirus programs like Avast, AVG, Threatfire, etc. They are quick and easy to install and rank right up there with pay programs as far as protecting you.
Some safe locations
When you are looking for a particular type of program or the program itself, it pays to go to one of the trusted, tested download sites like
There are many other safe sites too; if you just Google them, you will find them easy enough. If you’re looking for open source material, two of your best bets are http://www.sourceforge.com and http://www.filehippo.com. All of these sites verify that the files they have for downloading have been checked and tested for viruses and malware.
If you just pay attention to what you doing and be a little skeptical and wary of deals that sound too good to be true, you can have many hours of fun downloading and using free software across the Internet.