Check These 8 Things Before Downloading & Installing Any Software

If you are going to install new software on it and try different things. But do you know how some software can be fishy and harm your system? So, today, I bring you 7 essential tips to protect your PC from viruses and other malware. 

The first 5 tips will be essential while downloading and the other 3 will be essential while installing the software. I am going to explain them in detail so that you would be safe the next time you install software on your PC. So, let’s get straight to the topic.

Tips Before Downloading A Software

Here are some 5 things you should check before downloading software from the internet

1. Check Website Is Secure Or Not Using The Traffic Light Extension

The very first thing you have to check before downloading software is whether the source is secure or not. The website from where you are downloading must be safe, and how do you check that? There is a browser extension called traffic light.

TrafficLight
TrafficLight
  • TrafficLight Screenshot

You will be able to check if a website you are visiting is safe or not, and if it is not, it won’t permit you to even visit the website. You will see warnings and if it will alarm you that the website isn’t safe enough to visit, let alone download. 

2. Checking Operating System Compatibility 

Filmora OS compatibilty

The next thing you have to check is whether the software you are going to install is even compatible with your PC’s operating system. Check the OS compatibility of the software and see if your PC is compatible with it. It is quite a basic thing but most people ignore it. 

3. Check Url And Extension Using Hover Mouse Method

Check Url Using Hover Mouse

The next thing you have to check before downloading is whether the file you are going to download is of .exe format. This format works on PCs so just hover the cursor on the download button and you would be able to see the file name with an extension on the bottom right of the browser window. Sometimes it can also be in .zip or .rar format which you have to extract later. 

4. Windows Compatibility And Specification Check

As you might know, certain software has system requirements and if your PC is not able to meet those requirements, then you probably won’t be able to run those on your PC. So, before downloading any software, head over to the system requirements section and always check whether your PC meets all the requirements asked by it.

Filmora system requirements

The above example is of Filmora. You should always check like this beforehand because you don’t want to waste your time and data downloading software that is not supported by your PC.

5. Software File Integrity Check

You might have noticed sometimes that the downloaded file is larger than what was mentioned on the website. This can happen because some additional files get downloaded with this as well. To avoid this, you can use a good download manager which has a feature of file integrity. Using this, you can check whether the file you have downloaded is safe or not. 

Take the example of Free Download Manager. When you are done downloading it, right-click on it and select the option File Integrity. Now here, you have to enter the hash value. Hash values can be thought of as fingerprints for files. You will get this hash value on the source website, usually the download page. 

Software File Integrity Check

So, when you paste the hash value there, you will see Verification: OK, which means you have downloaded the right file, and it has not been tampered with. This can be important because any hacked can add malicious codes to a file and will get access to your PC when you install that file. 

Note: Hash codes are important because they can check whether the file you downloaded and the file on the server are the same or not. 

Tips before installing software on your PC

Now you have seen what you can do before downloading the files. So, here are some of the tips that you can follow before you finally install the software of your PC.

6. Scan Software Using A Good Antivirus Software

This is a basic yet important tip to follow. Scan the downloaded file using good anti-virus software and wait for any alerts. You can use Windows 10’s own Windows Defender for it. It will check for any viruses or other malware in the downloaded file. 

Scan Software using defender

This is important because the chances of getting viruses through software files increase even more when you are installing any cracked software.

7. Do Not Run As Administrator When Not Needed

Some software needs administrator permissions to run, as you might have seen. You should not run any software as admin when it is not needed. Software with admin permissions can have access to your PC’s data and can be harmful sometimes. So, check if it really needed to give them admin access before allowing them to.  

8. Read the Installation Window Messages Before Clicking Next

It often happens, we don’t read the installation window and click Next till it starts the installation. The problem here is that the software gets installed, but it also installs other software with it. This would have happened with most people, you won’t know how some new unknown software has been installed on your PC. 

These are sponsored software with the main one. So, it is better to read the installation window and untick the software which is just extras. 

FAQs

What are things to consider before software installation?

Software compatibility, system requirements, permissions, and security elements are the things to consider before software installation.

How do I check for viruses before downloading?

You can scan the file using windows defender or any other antivirus software before installing the software.

What are the first steps in installing software from the web?

The first thing you should check is whether the source of software is safe and secure. Later you can scan the file using an antivirus tool before installing it. 

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Satish Shah
Member of Team TJ - Tech Enthusiast, and Programmer

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