The way we watch television has significantly changed. Yes, the demand for content is still high, but the way we consume it has evolved. Conventional television has taken the backseat and streaming series and movies online have pretty much become the norm.
With the increase of an easily accessible internet connection, more and more people are looking for free versions of their favourite series and movies online. However, downloading and streaming movies and television programmes can put your computer at serious risk for cyber attacks and other online criminal activity. The latest episode of your favourite series or brand-new movie may look like the real deal, but the files you are downloading could actually be filled with malware and viruses that can instantly attack your computer.
The unfortunate truth is that the more popular a show is, the more likely it is to spread malicious software over the internet. An example of this is HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. This has been the most torrented TV show over the last six years. However, the files are often filled with malicious software and cybersecurity experts have advised against downloading new episodes of the series.
Security tips to stay cyber secure
Security analysts warn that people hoping to stream or download from illegal websites for free face a large number of online dangers. Sharing files can also spread these threats. To lower the risks, certain protective measures should be taken.
Follow the below checklist to see how safe you are online:
- Check the authenticity of the website you visit. It is always a good idea to check if the website you are visiting has an SSL certificate (HTTPS and green padlock in the address bar).
- Never download files with strange extensions. If the extension looks unfamiliar, do a quick search on Google to find more information.
- Check other users’ comments about a file before opening or downloading it.
- Use trusted cybersecurity solutions to protect your computer.
Remember: Most downloading and streaming websites are illegal and you can face legal action should you visit or use these!
Safeguard your computer against cybercriminals