Don’t Click the Download Button!

I thought about naming this blog "Would the Real Download Link Expose Yourself."  But, a few people said that wasn't a great title.  Go figure!

I'm sure you've visited a website to download something, maybe an image or install software or maybe some template to design a cool new flyer.  You've probably also clicked on a large green or teal or blue or some other lovely color button that said, "Download", only to find out it was an ad to some trash item you're not interested in nor do you want.  It's an irritation and waste of time.  So, you return to your previous page or site and hunt for the real download link, which is often just the words "Download Here" linked to your download object.

What you may not realize is, these fake download buttons may be taking you to a site to infect your computer with a virus or malware or ransomware.  You think you just visited some jerk that wants to sell you some trash.  In reality, that's the least of your worries.  It may be a site operated by cyber criminals trying to steal data from your computer or hijack your computer for their use.  From now on, double check that the Download link or button is the correct download link you want.

Here are some tips to help you identify the fake ones vs. the real ones.

  1. Add a trustworthy ad blocker to your web browser.  uBlock Origin is a good one we use.
  2. Learn to look at the "Download Button" and see if it has a the little ad play button (right arrow) in it or around it.
  3. Put your mouse over the button and look at the URL it displays in the bottom left of your screen, if it's not the local URL domain (of the current web site), something is probably not right, so don't click.
  4.  Better safe than sorry, only visit reputable sites to purchase goods online and download items.

Remember, be careful!

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Robert Felps
About the Author

Innovative problem solver. Robert Felps takes a holistic view of the situation, understanding the business objectives, then architects a solution that exceeds the expectations for much less than standard industry solutions would cost.

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