After last week’s post you may find yourself wondering, “How can I tell whether or not the program I am about to download is legitimate and not a malvertisement?” One of the best ways to avoid falling victim to malvertising is to pay close attention to the source of the download.
A google search of many programs (i.e. iTunes, Google Chrome, OpenOffice) will return many pages where a program is available but may be riddled with malware hitchhikers. This is the part where caution is key. The easiest indicator to spot is a little yellow box that says “Ad” under the title of the search result. This will typically appear on the first three results of a search of a commonly downloaded program and, more often than not, will be a site to avoid. The green text under the title of each search result is the website where the download will come from. If the site looks anything like: “www.openoffice.download-spree.com”, “download-iTunes.downloadxy.net”, or “www.programdownload.com/Google-Chrome”, it’s best to steer clear.
The safest way to download a program is to get it directly from the source, for example: http://www.apple.com for iTunes, http://www.google.com/chrome for Google Chrome, and http://www.openoffice.org for OpenOffice. Finding a legitimate source for your program download will ensure you get the program you want and (almost more importantly) none of the ones you don’t.
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IT Assistant at Multiple Computer Solutions, Inc.