If you are on the internet for any amount of time then there is a good chance that you are going to end up downloading a file at some point. It is inevitable. Part of the reason for the internet is to be able to share files back and forth with each other. When some people think of downloading files, they automatically think of illegal files such as music or movies. They do not look at the pictures that they send through email as downloading files. But I am here to tell you that it is.
When it comes to downloading files, ignorance can be hazardous. If you do not know what you are downloading from someone else then that can lead to your computer having an unexpected visitor that you do not want. This is the number one way of malware being spread to computers around the world – people downloading malicious files. But there are two ways that you can stop this from happening to you. You can either learn the file type of the file that you just downloaded or you can scan every file that you download. The suggested answer is to do both.
When you have a brand new Windows installation set up and ready, most of the time you will see that it is set to not show the file endings. For most people it really doesn’t matter to them but it should. This is why a lot of malware is able to spread. People do not know the type of files that they are downloading to their computer. You might be thinking that you are downloading an MP3 file but in reality you are downloading an .exe file. That means an executable file which is able to install a virus.
So to turn on the settings so that you can see file endings go to Control Panel and then to Folder Options. On older versions of Windows you will see an option that says show File Endings. You should click on that. If you are using a newer version of Windows then make sure that hide file endings is unchecked. After that you should be good to go.