Digital safety evolves as time goes on. As networks, infrastructures are expanding and converging, we are getting more and more feedback from partners, friends such as Cox customer service about the common harmful practices. And more people start using devices capable of connecting to the internet. Therefore, simply with an increase in the number of internet subscribers, the risks of cyberattacks increase as well. Of course, you can take measures like strong passwords, antivirus software, and even firewall protection. But all of them are ineffective if you bypass them yourself!
Downloading applications is part of digital life these days. But everything may not be as it seems in the digital world. A file or application you download could very well end up making you the victim of malware or a cyberattack. This article explores 4 such types of downloads that pose a huge risk to your Windows PC. Read on to find out more.
Questionable Files from Torrent Sites
Piracy has been around since the earliest days of trading. High seas pirates, such as the ones that terrorized the Caribbean, are by far the most famous. They would raid trading boats and get rich off the goods and people they plundered. Digital piracy perhaps seems different because you aren’t making someone walk the plank. You’re simply going to a torrent site like Pirate Bay and downloading a free file.
Here’s the thing. Torrent clients like BitTorrent are not illegal per se. However, using them to download pirated files and software is indeed illegal in most parts of the world. You can get into serious trouble by downloading a pirated version of proprietary software or a PC game. But that’s not all. The file names you see on sites are not indicative of what the file is. The code could very well be malware like a virus or spyware. You could even download ransomware instead of what you wanted. As a rule, buy what you need. And never trust torrent files or sites.
Random Freeware You Did Not Search For
Freeware is often one of the best kinds of software. Who doesn’t love free-to-play games or free-to-use apps like WhatsApp or Facebook! But bear in mind that the safest freeware comes from well-known companies or publishers. Freeware that you did not search for or never heard of is a big red flag. Especially if it pops up as an email offer or an online ad.
Random freeware will keep installing junk files and even malware that can clog up your computer. And you may not be able to keep track of everything it does. The freeware could even have spyware or turn your PC into part of a botnet.
Hard Drive Cleaner Advertisements
Ads for hard drive cleaners are one of the most common sources that destroy devices and cleaners. While younger internet users are fairly well-versed in spotting shady ads, older users are not as adept. Such ads often trick unwary users into bypassing their firewalls and installing malware that disrupts their device performance and security. Hard drives do need to be cleaned up, but most licensed Windows OS already have cleaning features included.
Shady Free-Trial Software
Free-trial software isn’t always malware. Amazon, Netflix, and even YouTube offer a free trial period for users to try out their services. But again, these are all some of the biggest and most recognizable names in technology. This means trusting them can be easier than a random application you come across on the web. If you do feel compelled to download something, do your research on the software and company. The chances are good you will be able to spot a potential scam or bad application with a look at the user reviews ratings.
Vigilance Is The Only Real Solution
Being vigilant is all you can do to make sure you stay safe from malware and security breaches. Understand that technology is fluid, and changes frequently. So, you should always update software and upgrade your hardware when it becomes too old. You should also stay informed on the newest forms and risks of cyberattacks and how you can avoid them.
You can easily clean the junk files from your Windows 10 PC by opening these folders (use Run program) :
Simply deleting the files will make your PC run faster. You do not need a program to perform these kinds of actions. Try to download the software from their official website. These days, many of the premium software licensing is in the pay-as-you-go model (at least for mobile, iPad) such as Adobe Photoshop, Auto CAD. Also, there is a lot of open-source software. Using these types of software avoiding pirated software can keep the risk to a lower level. Never use your main computer for installing pirated software for testing the full version.
Cybersecurity is vast and constantly evolving. But developing healthy scepticism goes a long way. And a digital lifestyle focused on minimizing the risk through prevention is even better. It’s a dangerous world out there, even on the internet. Stay safe!