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National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Best Practice Guide of the Week


In This Issue:

* Safe Downloads















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Downloading content over the internet is a great way to enjoy online content. Downloading should not be confused with streaming, which is where video, music or sound is sent over the internet for you to watch or listen to in real time, rather than being able to be saved on your computer to use later.


 The following are risks that occur while downloading content:

        Having your firewall breached.

        Downloading offensive/illegal material or viruses disguised as something else.

        Breaching copyright. It is illegal to download pirate material that is under copyright.

        Installing spyware that enables criminals to obtain private information for financial gain or identity theft.

        Inadvertently installing adware that enables annoying popup advertisements.



With that in mind, it is imperative to take the following steps to remain safe while downloading content online:


        Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you start downloading.

        Donít use Torrent downloads.

        Beware of software with additional components that you donít need.

        Download executable files with extreme caution. These are files used by programs to run on your computer. However, they are also commonly used in viruses.

        Be wary about downloading anything, as people can call their files anything they like. Something that appears to be a clip from a new sci-fi movie could in fact be or a virus-infected file.

        Download music only from paid sites such as iTunes, Napster or trusted retailersí websites or install online malware scanner to scan files before/after download.

        Install filters to block or warn of you of infected sites and downloads.

        Only download from trustworthy sites rather than peer-to-peer (A computer network in which every computer acts as both a client and server, allowing every computer to exchange data and services with every other computer in the network) systems to obtain programs.


Have the above security tips in mind when operating your computer systems. Report any cybercrime incident/activity

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