Q:

Will downloading free music give your computer a virus?

A:

Quick Answer

As with any other download, free music downloads may potentially include computer viruses. Free music purchased from reputable and legal sources such as iTunes or Amazon are less likely to infect computers with viruses. Those companies are bound legally to ensure that the music they provide is free of malicious code, regardless of how much the download costs.

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Full Answer

Ultimately, the possibility of getting a virus while downloading free music depends on the reliability and legality of the site being used. Some sites use free music downloads to infect users' computers with bloatware, trojans, malware and worms. These different kinds of viruses can cause problems of varying seriousness, from slowing computer speed, to taking control of critical processes and shutting down the computer. Unmonitored public torrent sites like Piratebay.org are well-known for transmitting and spreading computer viruses through downloads. These public file sharing sites are not regularly monitored for viruses, and they are not legally required to provide safe downloads to users.

In addition to considering the download source, you may also want to consider the security of your Internet connection and to ensure that you are using the appropriate antivirus software to catch and stop potential malicious activity. The type of software you should use depends on your computer and operating system. Antivirus software scans your downloaded music and identifies potential viruses before you open or unzip a file. Most antivirus software also tells you how to contain and delete downloads containing viruses to ensure the safety of your computer and personal information.

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