01 February 2011

Tips on Downloading Video and Audio Files

A lot of people download music or video through a free peer-2-peer (P2P) file sharing program such as LimeWire. But get the facts right by researching on how P2P programs work, and learn about the different ways to download safe, virus-free music files online.

This is a general guide to safe downloads especially that viruses may be embedded in files commonly found in file-sharing programs:
  • Before downloading a file, ignore the star count rating next to the file. Many people who share or rate files do not know they had been infected with a virus.

  • After downloading a file, do not open it from within LimeWire or P2P file sharing programs. Instead, go to the folder where you have chosen to store your downloaded files. Scan this folder with an anti-virus or spyware program such as AVG. Always keep your anti-virus or spyware updated.
  • If you are downloading a game, it will most likely be more than 5 MB in size. So if it is smaller than that in size, it’s most likely a virus.
  • Music can have camouflage virus. If you type a song title incorrectly, a camouflage virus will be search result with the incorrectly spelled title. You will know it’s a virus since it will not have the year, album, and other information when you move your mouse over it.
  • Refrain from downloading any file type you don’t want. If you are searching for an MP3 file, don’t download any EXE files. Remember to click the “Search for Music Only” tab.
  • Look for the BitRate in music files. If there is no BitRate, then there is no music in the file, and most likely, it is a virus.
  • When downloading an MP3 file, right-click the information bar, and select the Length option. Check if it has any music length available. If it doesn’t have any or is longer than expected, then it is probably a virus.
  • Also pay attention to the speed at which the file is being downloaded, since those that go unusually fast are usually not music files at all.
  • Before using a file-sharing site, find out how the process works. Is the file-sharing network free of adware, spyware, and Trojans? Is customer support provided if needed? Do they offer legal P2P advice and safe downloading tips?
  • Read the site’s entire Security and Privacy section. Most file-sharing networks have suggestions and tips on how to stay safe while downloading files online.
  • Know the risks involved with file-sharing. It is extremely important to keep your anti-virus software updated, and your firewall ready to block dangerous Internet threats.
  • Avoid reproducing, distributing, or publicly sharing copyrighted material.
Source: http://www.smartschools.ph/SmartSchools/SmartTools

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