The University of Texas at Austin

Security Awareness

Tips for Safe Online Sharing

Tips for staying safe when downloading electronic content on the Web.

Follow these tips to help you stay safe when downloading music, movies and other electronic content on the Web.

  • Download, install and run security software on your computer. Symantec anti-virus and firewall products are available on the BevoWare Web site. Remember to update your security software regularly!
  • Be careful about downloading files ending in .EXE, .COM, .BAT, .ZIP and .VBS. These file extensions can contain malicious code, take you to an outside Web site or run a destructive program on your machine.
  • Scan files before opening them. Save the file to your desktop first—before you open it—and then run an anti-virus scan. It is important to do this even if the file is from a trusted source.
  • Use e-mail and IM with the same caution. Viruses spread through IM downloads and attachments as readily as they do with e-mail. Disable automatic file or attachment downloads and restrict your IM sessions to people you invite.
  • Trust your instincts. If a file or download seems suspicious to you, don’t open it. You can jeopardize your identity and your data if you download a file containing viruses, spyware or other malicious code.
  • Be responsible. Remember if you download and share online files without taking the proper precautions, you are putting your files and your identity at risk. Having to deal with viruses and predators are two possible consequences. If you break any copyright laws when sharing files, you might also face a lawsuit from The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and/or The Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA).

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