How To Download Files from the Internet Safely - dummies

How To Download Files from the Internet Safely

You should always be aware of where you are downloading files from and practice good habits to keep your personal information safe and away from those that would use it to do you harm.

1Open a website that contains downloadable files, such as (which offers its popular Adobe Flash add-on and Adobe Reader program for free).

Typically, websites offer a Download button or link that initiates a file download.

2Click the appropriate link to proceed. Windows might display a dialog box asking your permission to proceed with the download.

Click Yes.

3In the toolbar that appears along the bottom of the screen, choose either option:

Click Run to download the file to a temporary folder. You can run a software installation program, for example. However, beware: If you run a program you download from the Internet, you could be introducing dangerous viruses to your system. You might want to set up an antivirus program to scan files before downloading them.

Click Save to save the file to your hard drive. In the Save As dialog box, select the folder on your laptop or removable storage media (a USB flash drive, for example) where you want to save the file. If you’re downloading software, you need to locate the downloaded file and click it to run the installation.

If you’re worried that a particular file might be unsafe to download — for example, if it’s from an unknown source or it’s an executable (a file that executes a procedure and whose name ends with .exe) file type, which could contain a virus — click Cancel in the File Download dialog box.

If a particular file will take a long time to download (some can take 20 minutes or more), you may have to babysit it. If your laptop goes into standby mode, it could pause the download. If your laptop automatically downloads Windows updates, it may cause your laptop to restart automatically as well, cancelling or halting your download. Check in periodically to keep things moving along.

Make sure you choose a folder that’s easy for you to remember and return to later when you need the file. If you’re downloading software, you need to locate the downloaded file (in whichever folder you saved it) and double-click it to install it.