Encouraging safe downloading, especially if you are talking to a child, can be difficult because most people don’t realize how prolific viruses really are. The truth is that hackers and viruses are lurking on almost every file-sharing website and P2P network. If you want to encourage someone to practice safe downloading, then try using the tips below. This should help the other person realize that downloading files from random websites can be very dangerous.
Number of Infected Machines
Most people think that they can freely download any file because they don’t know how many machines are infected with malware and viruses. While nobody knows the exact amount, several studies have shown that about 30 percent of the computers in North America are infected with some sort of virus. Some countries even have an infection rate of 57 percent.
This means that it’s very likely that the person currently has an infected computer. This doesn’t mean that he or she is safe against other viruses. One virus is usually a gateway for new viruses because the computer is less secure.
Types of Viruses
Another reason why some people don’t worry about malware is because they think that viruses will just slow their computer down. While there are many viruses that are only made for this purpose, especially adware and spyware that mostly just clog the user’s hard drive, there are many other things that a virus can do.
For example, a virus can steal your personal information by recording your banking username and password. It can also destroy your hardware. Several ethical hackers have proven that certain viruses can cause printers to melt and monitors to explode by forcing the machines to heat up.
A new threat is called ransomware. This is a virus that causes the victim’s Web cam to open with a message saying that law enforcement is currently watching the user because he or she has done something illegal. If you pay a fine, then the message will disappear. The truth is that nothing is being recorded, but most people won’t know this until after they pay the fake fine.
No Computer is Safe
Many people like to say that Apple computers are safer than Windows computers. This isn’t entirely correct. While it is true that fewer Apple computers have viruses, this is only because most hackers work with the Windows environment. The major reason for this is because there are more Windows users. Since Apple is becoming more popular, it’s safe to assume that viruses will eventually be made to affect Apple users.
No OS can save you from being infected. The only way to significantly decrease your chances of downloading malware is to be safe and use antivirus software.
Price of Infection
Having a major infection can cost a lot of money. The best scenario is that an IT professional can remove the virus and get your computer running again. The worst scenario is that the computer is destroyed and you need a new laptop or desktop.
A good antivirus program should cost about $40. It can cost several hundred dollars to get the computer fixed or to buy a new one. It’s much cheaper to be safe and practice secure downloading.
Many people think that mobile devices are safe because they aren’t really computers. Other people think that the mobile operating systems are inherently safer. Both assumptions are wrong. A mobile device is nothing more than a small computer. If you can access the Internet and download files, then your mobile device is vulnerable against skilled hackers.
While there haven’t been any major widespread attacks against mobile devices, many ethical hackers have discovered viruses that could destroy smartphones and tablets. The truth is that most mobile devices are less secure than desktops and laptops because users don’t think about security, the hardware isn’t as powerful and very few people have antivirus apps.
Encouraging someone to practice safe downloading can be difficult, but the best way to do it is to tell the person that he or she isn’t safe. There are millions of infected files that are downloaded on a daily basis. Failing to use antivirus software and being careful about downloading files is just inviting viruses to infect your computer.
Katelyn is a social media and entertainment blogger for BearShare.com’s free music downloads and contributes to a variety of music and entertainment blogs. Click here for more information on expanding your music library.