One of the most popularly downloaded things on the Internet is music. There are billions of audio files to download and they can found on thousands of different websites. At the same time, the popularity of audio files is also a problem. Many hackers implant viruses onto the files so that they can infect your computer. If you want to avoid being hacked and having your information stolen, then it’s best to stay safe. These tips will significantly reduce your chances of downloading bad files.
If you are like most people, then some or all of your audio files were probably downloaded for free. Aside from being illegal, the main danger here is that hackers provide many of these free files. That’s because spreading a virus is much easier this way since people are more likely to download free files.
While there are certainly a few exceptions, most websites that make you pay for your downloads don’t have viruses. This is because they usually get the music files directly from the artist or their recording label. If you really want to avoid viruses, then consider paying for all of your future music downloads.
Consider the downloading service
Where are you downloading the music from? Many websites that offer music files aren’t very safe. For example, they might demand personal information before you can download the file. They might also download virus files onto your computer without you knowing about it.
This is especially true of P2P programs. These programs are full of hackers and bad files that can destroy your computer. Be sure to research the website before downloading anything. If the website looks or feels weird, then it’s probably best to avoid it.
Having an antivirus program is essential when downloading files from random websites because it can protect you on two fronts. The first thing that it can do is scan the file before you download it. This should let you know if the file has any viruses or suspicious coding on it.
If the virus tricks the scanner and gets onto your hard drive, or if a virus downloads to your computer as soon as you visit the website, then the antivirus program serves another purpose. It can protect your computer from damage by neutralizing and removing the virus.
Check the size of the file before downloading it. While there are some audio files that are very tiny, the vast majority are around 2MB to 5MB. Files that are much smaller than this, such as 100KB to 250KB, are often text files. The vast majority of viruses are nothing more than text files with malicious coding. If the file size is weird, then avoid the file.
Avoid extra downloads
Some websites require you to download extra programs before you can start downloading music. If you are using a paid service like Rhapsody or iTunes, then this extra download is generally safe. If you are using a free service, then you should probably avoid the extra download.
You might actually be putting a virus on your computer. Many of these additional programs give hackers a lot of control over your computer.
Find online reviews
If you found a music file on a website that you aren’t familiar with, then look for reviews of the website. Don’t look for reviews that talk about features and song selection. You should specifically look for reviews that mention viruses and malware.
If you find any reviewers saying that malicious files are on the website, then it’s best to avoid it. Downloading just one file could destroy your computer. You should still be cautious if you don’t find any bad reviews, but scanning the files with your antivirus program should reveal any viruses.
There are thousands of websites that host music files. While many of them are safe, there are just as many with at least a few infected files. If you want to keep yourself safe, then you just have to be cautious. Don’t download files without scanning them and researching the website. You should also use paid services because they are much less likely to host infected files.
Katelyn is a social media and entertainment blogger for BearShare free music downloads and contributes to a variety of music and entertainment blogs.