Recently, with the never-ending pandemic, a large group of websites have begun to emerge out of nowhere (they’re still coming in large numbers as we speak). Some of these websites emerged for the sake of helping and informing people about certain topics which are currently happening in our world. These sites either involve Cyber Security topics, technology, programs…etc.
However, not every site you click on might be safe. The title might allure you to something, but the results will be completely different. And speaking of the pandemic, some malware creatures have taken this situation as an advantage to scam people. If they can’t, they can cause your hardware to malfunction. The reason why they do this kind of behavior remains obscure.
So, how do you check if the site you are surfing or downloading from is safe? how do you assure yourself that Zip file you downloaded from ” WWW.XXX.xxx ” site is legit? Find out below.
Look for the letter ” S ” in HTTPS
Every site you surf, every site you have the intention to download from, has to have an ” S ” at the end of HTTPS. Several URLs begin with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP” to indicate that they are encrypted. This security is provided by an SSL certificate, which protects the user’s privacy from leaking. Without an SSL certificate, that information is vulnerable and easily accessible by hackers and cybercriminals. In addition, it’s important to note that HTTPS isn’t the only thing a website can or should do to protect its visitors, but it’s a good sign that the website owner actually cares about his user’s safety and privacy.
Verify them online
When I usually surf through an unfamiliar website or download from it, I get chills down my spine. I start to wonder ” Will I get hacked? Will I get stricken by a virus? Will my PC explode? “. All of these are hallucinations when one is unfamiliar with a particular site. So what should you do? It’s simple: I use this website, and I let it check if the site is safe or not for me. I have used it a couple of times when downloading pirated movies that sadly cannot be found online anymore.. Or, you can use Site Lock.
Take the risk
Sometimes, you just have to take the risk. I don’t mean that you should click on every download section blindly. There are a few tips I use which I’ll share with you. Note that these tips are only for downloading things you suspect.
Use an AdBlock
It may seem silly, but you need an AdBlock installed on your browser. Why? because usually a lot of sites that host download links rely on users clicking each corner of their site when surfing. Once you click somewhere, an ad pops up. You may remove it thinking that it was nothing but an annoying ad, but no. These ads sometimes can infiltrate inside your computer with your consent, so please, use an AdBlock.
Do not download games or music or anything that has a single exe file unless you’re sure it’s safe
Usually when we’re searching about something, we want it the easy way. Just a click on the button, and there you go. Honestly, six years ago I used to download whatever I saw in front of my eyes until I ended up with weird viruses. However, these viruses did not harm my computer, but they were severely annoying to deal with. That is why I advise you to download from trusted places. If you are unsure, you can always ask on Reddit. I’m sure they will help you. If not, ask us about anything below and we will come to aid you.
Check your Task Manager
Once you’ve downloaded your game or something else, check your task manager. Sometimes you’ll notice a suspicious program that is using 100% of you CPU or RAM. Once you detect that file, you can easily kill it by ending the task using Task Manager. You can also track the file and delete it using an anti-virus.
Asking for email
Let’s assume you wanted to download a movie from an ” X ” site. You press the button, and voila, they ask for your email. This is a red flag that the site is either trying to hack you, or just steal your information. Unless if the site asks you to subscribe to their newsletter, then that’s fine. However, when asking for a user’s email for a basic thing, then no, that’s no good.
Check their Alexa country and grammar
Let’s assume you are downloading from a site that is pretending to be from the US, but you notice they have several grammatical errors all over the place. From the description to About us, and everywhere. That’s another signs that the site isn’t honest to begin with. I’d say, leave immediately.
That’s all folks. If you have any questions, let me know below. I hope this helped you. There are other tips out there, but I wanted to focus only on the basics.