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Downloading files off the internet

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A friend of mine was telling me that he had several spyware programs installed on his computer after downloading iTunes. I was curious to how this happened; I asked him where did the download come from? This is when it was discovered that the program he downloaded was not from the official source. You may ask yourself, “Why would anyone download something not from the direct source?” This would be an excellent question, but there are some tricky tactics people use to get you to download their files.

In this case the keyword used to search google was “iTunes download” when you put this into the google search bar and press enter you will notice a tan box show up at the top of the listing. These links in the tan box are Ads related to iTunes download, they are paid links from various sources which may or may not be from official parties. For this example if you take a look at the link in the middle from the website itunes.download-new.com/ this is the link that was clicked on. This is not an official Apple repository for downloading the new version of iTunes. This link is at the top in the paid ads box to make it appear to be a top search for downloading the new version of iTunes. This is a trick to get traffic to their link. Generally speaking the higher you are on the search results the more traffic you will drive to your website.

This tactic while old still works as the conversation above shows, it’s recommended to always download programs from their official repositories. That way you know that you will be getting the program you want with no extra “features” you didn’t plan on downloading. This is just the first line to protecting yourself and your data. The next step is to verify that the file you downloaded from the official repository did not have anything tampered with it as well. How you ask? Stay tuned for the next article.

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