One of the principal daily uses of the Internet is for downloading files. The nature of these can vary: applications, audio files, video, text documents… This is a common practice, however, it has serious implications in terms of Internet threats.
The biggest risk when carrying out a download from the Internet is that the file in question can contain a computer virus. This becomes even more serious in the case of downloads from P2P (Peer-to-Peer) applications, given that there are a large number of viruses disguised under attractive names for the users. In this way, if they are downloaded and executed the system will become infected. In any case, it does not matter in which way the file is downloaded. Even if the download is an HTTP download, or through the P2P networks or from an FTP server, the risk of downloading infected files is very high.
As such, even if the download of a file went smoothly and the user used their new program without any problem, the equipment can have been infected with some kind of malicious code. This could be anything from Trojans designed to steal data or create backdoors in the computers, to spyware.
It should be taken into account that the inclusion in a file of a Trojan that creates a backdoor in the equipment is very advantageous for the hacker in question, who can even know from which IP the download has been made in order to connect directly to it.
How to download files from the Internet safely
The first basic rule for downloading files in safely from the Internet is to be cautious. An enormous variety of ‘underground’ pages exist that offer browsers the possibility of downloading interesting applications. However, this is at best a dubious source and many of these downloads could be infected by a virus. The best idea is therefore to avoid any kind of download from these kinds of pages.
Likewise, you should pay attention to the size of the downloaded files, above all from P2P networks. Very often, files that are actually camouflaged viruses, are very small, and therefore do not correspond in any way with the file that has apparently been downloaded.
In any case, the safest choice is to rely on well-known, quality antivirus software updated at least once a day. Only in this way can you be sure that downloads from the Internet do not represent a threat to your computer.