The 'File Download – Security Warning' window can be ignored on a site we've checked before publication, but take notice of the sign if it pops up from nowhere
Q When following the download links published in your magazine a window opens that says: ‘File Download – Security Warning. While files from the internet can be useful, this type of file can potentially harm your computer’.
How can I know that this source is to be trusted and why should I ignore this warning? I would be grateful if you could advise me as to whether I should proceed.
A Seasoned computer users will be familiar with this and similar dialogue boxes displayed by Windows and its applications, often proceeding without a second thought. This warning is displayed by Internet Explorer and the wording is designed to raise precisely the kinds of questions you ask.
Obviously we can’t provide the answers in all cases but if such a warning appears after you’ve attempted to download a file from a reliable source then there is usually little cause for concern: the alert would appear whether or not the source is trustworthy, to make you pause for thought.
As you have attempted to download something from the Computeractive website then all should be fine: we only provide links to programs we have tested and believe to be safe.
The time to worry – and the reasons these alerts really exist – is when such a warning pops up unexpectedly: in this case a malicious website may be attempting to put something unwanted and/or untoward onto your PC.
If this happens, make a note of the flagged filename and download location and use a search site such as Google to see what the web knows about it. If in any doubt, click Cancel.
It is also vital that your PC has reliable and up-to-date anti-virus software installed and running. If it doesn’t, try Microsoft’s Security Essentials – a free download.
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