How to Make Sure a File Is Safe Before Downloading It

How to Make Sure a File Is Safe Before Downloading It

Downloading files is always a dangerous proposition. You may destroy your computer if you are not careful when downloading.

Many websites claim to have the proper file on the internet. Most of the time, you must open the file to ensure it is secure. And it may be too late to defend your computer from malware and virus applications by then.

There isn't a substitute for basic internet security methods. Still, there are ways to do a more thorough investigation if you're concerned about a file. Always do a safety check before downloading to protect yourself from download risks. Continue reading to learn about some of the most common safe ways to download a file.

How to Make Sure a File Is Safe Before Downloading It

1. Check the Format

Understand the various file types. Always make sure that file extensions are enabled by default in Explorer, whether you're a novice or an experienced Windows user. They turn it off by default, which is a security risk. It may be turned on in the explorer File settings.

Many websites, such as Fileinfo, allow you to browse their extensive collection of file extensions. The length of a file extension is three or four characters. They are the last characters in the file name after the period (.).

  • Step 1:

Before you download anything, note the file extension on the website. If the download button isn't visible, click it, but don't confirm the download yet.

Note-the-file-extension

Picture: technewstoday

  • Step 2:

Take note of the file extension when the browser prompts you for confirmation. Or, if you've already downloaded the file, go to the spot where you saved it and write down the file extension.

  • Step 3:

Check that the format is safe and that the file extension matches what you're about to download.

Check-if-the-format-matches-the-extension-of-the-file

Picture: technewstoday

2. Use Windows Sandbox

Microsoft's Windows Sandbox is a particular feature that serves as a testing ground. Even if you manage to damage your sandboxed Windows, it will not affect the rest of your system. As a result, testing all your suspicious download URLs in a sandbox environment is a smart idea.

The functionality is only accessible in the Pro and Enterprise editions. Or, other Windows users can use a virtual box or VMware image.

  • Step 1: 

Type 'windows feature' into the Start Menu. Next, turn on or off the Windows functionality.

Select-Turn-Windows-features-on-or-off

Picture: technewstoday

  • Step 2: 

Select Windows Sandbox from the drop-down menu to enable it.

Select-Windows-Sandbox

Picture: technewstoday

  • Step 3:

Return to the Start Menu. Press Enter after typing Windows Sandbox. Inside the sandboxed environment, open the browser.

Open-the-browser

Picture: technewstoday

  • Step 4:

Go to the downloads section of the website. Then, download your file from within the sandboxed Windows environment. You may open the file when it has finished downloading and run all your tests to ensure it is correct. After you've validated everything, you may close the sandbox. To remove the contents of the sandbox, choose OK.

3. Use Virustotal.com

Virustotal is a trustworthy source for doing security tests. The first is a file mode, while the second is a link mode. You may upload a file and check if it's safe in file mode. Before downloading the file, you may use link mode to do a security check.

Virustotal checks a database of several suppliers for viruses. It then tells you whether the file passes all the safety checks. For the time being, we'll stay in link mode.

  • Step 1: 

Right-click on any page's download button or link. Then, copy the URL address.

Copy-link-address

Picture: technewstoday

  • Step 2: 

Go to https://virustotal.com in a new tab. Select the URL tab and paste the URL into the URL field.

Paste-the-URL-into-the-URL-field

Picture: howtogeek

  • Step 3: 

To begin scanning, press Enter. Wait until Virustotal has finished checking this link/file for security flaws.

Finish-checking-the-file

Picture: howtogeek

Conclusion

Even if they claim a file is trustworthy, you should examine and check it before downloading. You'll need to make some preliminary checks and use your common sense first. You'll also be able to use services to determine whether your concerns are correct. 

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Paul Syverson
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Paul Syverson
Paul Syverson is the founder of Product Reviews. Paul is a computer scientist; he used to carry out a handful of significant studies which contributed to bringing in many special features on the site. He has a huge passion for computers and other tech products. He is always diligent in delivering quality writings to bring the most value to people. Syverson.org |

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