Trading Files Is Not A Good Way To Keep Your Computer Secure

Ever since the advent of Napster people have been trading files on the internet. Well at least in large scale because even before Napster people would trade files but on a way smaller scale. But we know that is not the case anymore and while there are no services that are easy as napster used to be to help you trade files these days, there are services which are almost as easy. And people still use these services in large masses. And while they may be able to get their favourite music artist songs when they want to, they are also able to get some things that they do not want. And that is different types of computer infections.

trading-files

Yes, when it comes to file sharing networks one of the most shared types of files are malware. The bad guys know that they have easy pickings when it comes to file sharing networks. The facts of the matter are that a lot of people who go to these types of sites are not in the habit of securing their computer in the right way. Or they are so busy trying to download an illegal file to their computer that they do not actually pay attention to what they are actually downloading. They will go by the filename and that is it.

You see this all of the time on the file sharing networks. There will be that file that is called Photoshop and it is ready to be downloaded. The only problem is that the file is about 10mb in size. If you know anything about the program Photoshop then you know that it is up to 1GB+ in size. So if you see a file that is being offered on the file sharing service that is significantly smaller then you know that there is something wrong there. So you have to think to yourself, why would someone put up a file that is obviously a fake? What type of attention are they looking for? And the answer is that they want to be able to take over your computer with the infection that they laid out for you. It is a trap and they want you to fall for it. But different sized files are not the only thing that you have to look out for when you are talking about file sharing networks.

You also have to worry about misnamed files as well. For example, if you have a file that says it is an MP3 but in reality it is actually an executable file then you know that you are seeing something that is going to cause you serious problems. Again, why would the bad guys try to lie about the file type of file that is supposed to be downloaded and played on a computer? Once again, they are trying to infect your computer with some sort of malware. Executable files are the programs that you install on your computer and placing a rogue file on your system can be very dangerous. You want to try and avoid that if possible. The bad guys know that you want to avoid it so they make the file type look like something that you would download first and then just click. And that is what a lot of people do with MP3 files. They want to be able to hear the song right away so they just click on it.

So you have to remember that when you are trading files on the internet you have to be careful. As a matter of fact you should avoid it altogether unless it is with someone that you know. There are too many risk involved that you would need to worry about in order to keep your computer safe.

photo: waferboard

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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