We’re all aware of the need to be careful when we download something from the internet, but how does ‘being careful’ actually work?
In this short post, I’ll show you how to enjoy the benefits of the internet as safely as possible. The screenshots in this how-to are all taken from Windows 7, so if you’re not running Windows 7 the details may be different, but the core principles will be the same. Onwards!
Do not rely on your Windows firewall etc to keep your computer safe. Buy a good, reputable antivirus software and install it. I alternate between Kaspersky antivirus and BitDefender antivirus, which are both reputed to be the ‘best’ at the moment. From memory, both cost under $50 US for 12 months protection. That price includes both the software itself and the updates that keep it current with information about all the latest viruses. Antivirus without updates is like a car with all four tyres deflated.
Install your antivirus and make sure it can access updates automatically. You may think you’ll do it every day, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions…right?
Once your antivirus software is installed and updated, it will work quietly in the background, keeping your pc safe. BUT! You can also use it to ‘manually’ check every app you download from the internet.
This check should be carried out before you actually ‘run’ the app or install it. How? So glad you asked. 😀
Download the app and save it to a location on your computer. It should look something like this:
Once you download and save the app., use Windows Explorer to find it. My location will look different to yours. Don’t worry, just keep looking until you find the app on your computer.
Once you’ve found the app, right click on the thumbnail [picture] of it. This will open the right click menu as shown below:
Again, my computer will look different to yours, but every version of Windows I have ever used has a right click menu, and on it you will find the name of your antivirus software.
Click the name of your antivirus software and you should see a little sub-menu. On that little sub-menu you will find an option that allows you to scan the app. Click the scan option.
Most reputable apps will only take a short time to scan and the scan will come up as ‘clean’. When it does, you’re ready to use the app. If, however, the scan comes up with an error of some sort – DO NOT USE THE APP!!!! Delete it immediately because you’re better safe than sorry.
If the app is one you’ve paid good money for, contact the publisher and explain that your antivirus has found an error. A good publisher will thank you and send you a ‘clean’ version.
Okay, that’s it. Learn to love your right click menu. It really can save your bacon. 😉