Which Popular File Formats Are The Most Dangerous?

The one thing that you interact with on the computer all day is files.

No matter which system you use or job you have to do you are going to have to deal with a file at some point in time.

Files on a computer are both a good and bad thing.

They help you store the information that you create on the system but yet they can also be used to trick you and place something that is malicious onto the computer.

In this article I will show you what files to look out for when you are using the computer.

Some of the files that I will discuss are file types that you use every day and might not think of as dangerous but even the file types that you use all of the time can prove to be deadly to your computer.

I will mainly focus my attention on the Windows files system even though a lot of these rules could apply to all systems.

file-formats

.Exe Files

If you are a Windows user then there is one file type that you are going to have to use all of the time.

This is the .exe file type.

When a program is created, it is compiled in the form of an .exe.

This lets Windows know that the program is an executable file and when you click on it that it should run it.

These file types are also how malware is installed onto your system.

When you double click on a file of this type, it is going to run the program that you just clicked on.

So before you do, make sure that you already know what you are clicking on.

And if you are not sure then scan the file with an antivirus program.

There is no need for your computer to catch an infection if you don’t have to.

The Danger Of Image Files

Another file type that can cause harm to your computer is known as an image file.

These are files that end with a .jpg, .gif, and .png.

90% of the time these files are absolutely safe but sometimes they can be dangerous.

Certain black hat hacking groups how found ways that they can sneak data and scripts inside of an image format.

When you click on the picture to look at it, it is just like you are clicking an .exe that I discussed earlier.

This is why if you are not sure about the web site that you are on; you must scan the picture before you click it.

You do not want to get surprised by an infection.

Movie Files

The last file type that you have to worry about is movie files.

Movie file types like .wmv allow the user to put extra data in there including scriptable elements.

Also, there are other file formats that are just containers such as .mkv that can also hold a dangerous program if you are not careful.

When it comes to files on the computer, you will be safe as long as you protect yourself with an antivirus program.

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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  1. […] It is advised that he or she get hold of a Photoshop application for use in file format conversion, to produce versions of images in the different file formats. […]

  2. […] One of the problems on the internet that can cause you a lot of trouble is clicking on the wrong .exe file. […]

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