Did you know that three-quarters (74%) of Internet users would download a potentially malicious file because they lack the ‘cyber-savviness’ they need to spot dangers online?
Check out the infographic below for the results of a global quiz from Kaspersky Lab that questioned 18,000 Internet users about their online habits and then keep reading for tips on spotting dangerous links and downloads.
How to spot dangerous downloads
As the cybersecurity statistics above prove, dangerous downloads are very common and hard to spot. Here are a few tips you can share at the office to help keep your employees and business safe:
Be careful when downloading free files
First, don’t download any free files to your computer, mobile phone or tablet if you do not have an antivirus, firewall or web protection tool installed on them. If you keep them up-to-date, these programs can spot many dangerous files and websites before you click the download button. Second, when downloading a free file from the Internet, always be sure to look out for added toolbars and other PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which may be part of the reason the file is free in the first place. These can be harmful and difficult to remove from your computer.
Assess the situation
When downloading a file from a website, assess a few things:
- Download from sites you trust.
- If your antivirus software says stay away, listen.
- Look over the site. It sounds superficial, but if it looks sketchy, don’t download anything from it.
- Check out the forum. What are people saying about the file? Have they had problems with it?
Dangerous file extensions
According to MakeUseOf, the easiest way to identify whether a file is dangerous is by its file extension. The .exe extension is notoriously dangerous and many email programs block users from sending and opening files with this extension. Other suspicious file extensions include: ‘.bat’, ‘.pif’ and ‘.scr’. Stay safe by sticking to downloading .jpg and .png image files and .pdf, .docx, .xlsx and .pptx document files. Of course, still only open “safe” files from people you know and are expecting files from.
For a majority of people, staying safe online is a challenge. Keep your employees educated and up-to-date so they can keep their data and the company’s data safe.