Every time we use our devices and connect to the network, we are exposed to many security threats. There are many types of malware, such as Trojans, keyloggers, viruses … In one way or another they could steal information, compromise its proper functioning and even gain access to our password. This makes it essential at all times to know whether a file is malicious or not. We are going to explain some steps for this and we will also give tips to avoid problems.
Tricks to know if a file is malicious
It is important to detect malicious files as quickly as possible, before they can put our computers at risk. In many cases, they can take a while before attacking, so they are present in the system until it is time to execute. The sooner we detect the problem, the better. Sometimes doubts arise as to whether or not a file can really be dangerous and it is worth seeing how to analyze it.
Use an antivirus
Something basic to see if any file we have is malicious or could be a threat is to use an antivirus . It is highly advisable to have security software on our teams. A good antivirus will serve to prevent the entry of threats and also to be able to analyze any folder or file that we doubt if it could really be a danger.
To do this, you simply have to start the antivirus that we have installed and carry out a scan. We can do it on the entire system in general or only on a specific file, which would be what interests us in our case.
Analyze the file online
Beyond installing antivirus on our computer, we will also be able to use online tools with which to analyze a certain file. There are many free ones that we can easily use to clear up doubts when we have something that worries us and we want to make sure.
A highly recommended option that we can use is Virus Total . It is a web page that allows us to analyze a file for free, as well as a URL. It will help us avoid downloading files that may be dangerous.
Check the digital signature
We have an .EXE file and we don’t know if it really is reliable or not? Let’s say that we have downloaded a program but we don’t trust it. We do not know if it is really the original or it could have been maliciously modified to infect our computer.
Something that we can take into account is to check the digital signature. To do this, you simply have to click on the file icon with the second button, we click Properties and the Digital Signatures tab. There it will show us the information of when it was created and the signature. It can give us clues as to whether it really is something reliable or could be a problem.
Search for information on the Internet
Of course we will always be able to search for information on the web. Simply by doing a Google search, for example, we will be able to see if a specific file that we have downloaded could be a threat or not.
To do this, we can search for information about the site where we have downloaded or see the name of the file. Possibly there are other users in the same situation and who have been able to report a problem or report on whether or not it is a security threat.
See the extension
We can also check if a file is safe or not (or at least have more details to help us) if we see the extension . There are certain extensions that can be more dangerous and could be used by hackers to carry out their attacks.
How to avoid problems with dangerous files
We have seen how we can see if a file is malicious or not. Now we are going to move on to something very important: what to do to avoid problems with files that may be dangerous. A tour of some basic recommendations.
Always have equipment protected
Something fundamental will always be to keep our devices properly protected. We must have a good antivirus , firewall and even extensions for the browser that detect malicious sites and any problems that may appear.
We have at our disposal a wide range of options, both free and paid. No matter what operating system we use, we must always have software that protects us. This is the main barrier that we can have to avoid problems with dangerous files.
Keep systems up to date
But don’t forget to keep your systems up to date . There are many occasions when vulnerabilities arise that can be exploited by hackers. Many security flaws that in one way or another could cause problems that compromise our personal data.
Thanks to the patches and updates we will be able to avoid all this. Hence the importance of always having everything with the latest versions available. Here we must mention the operating system, but also the firmware of the network card or any program that we use.
Avoid downloading from unofficial sources
Whenever we download a file from the Internet, we must make sure to do it from reliable pages . For example, if we are going to download a program to install it, we must do it from sources that are official. Otherwise we could be adding software that has been maliciously modified and that can pose a significant problem.
Always common sense
But without a doubt something that can not be missing is common sense. We must avoid making mistakes that could compromise us. Today the truth is that most cyber attacks will require the interaction of the victim. Hackers are going to need us to take some action, such as downloading something, clicking a link, etc.
In short, by following these steps that we have mentioned, we will be able to check if a file is safe or not. We have also seen what we can do to be protected at all times. The objective is none other than to preserve security, reduce the risk that hackers may steal information and affect the proper functioning of our systems.