Finding and downloading files from the Internet

Finding and downloading files

Finding and downloading files

One of the key attractions of the Internet is the sheer volume of information stored out there—somewhere. To find this information and download it to your computer, you need to master CompuServe’s FTP program. FTP pro¬vides the fastest way to retrieve files from Internet sites. (For more detailed information on using FTP to find and download files from the Internet, see Chapter 24.)

Protect against deadly viruses

Anytime you download an executable program file from another computer, you run the risk of downloading a computer virus. Viruses are programs that attach to other programs (not to graphics files or documents, by the way) and then damage your computer system when you run the infected file. Viruses are real, and they’re very dangerous to your computer system.
Commercial online services like CompuServe screen all the files they’ve made available for downloading, this isn’t the case with files you download from the Internet. Because the Internet isn’t really monitored, you have no guarantees about the safety of files you find anywhere
on the Net.

Now, if you’re downloading files from a major Net site, such as a large U.S. university or a major corporation, you’re probably okay. These organi¬zations tend to police the files on their servers. But if you’re downloading from a site you’ve never been to or heard of before, who knows where those files have been.
The best protection is prevention. Practice “safe computing,” and use an antivirus program to scan for viruses on all files you download from the Net. The Microsoft Anti-Virus or the Norton Antivirus are both good programs, and they work. When it comes to the safety of your computer system, it pays to be a little bit paranoid.

Finding and downloading files