How to Avoid Fake Torrent Files

download-uploadWith the emergence of the new downloading technology called torrent and its increasing popularity, I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a post to this subject.

I’m sure we’ve all downloaded a fake file or two, or even more, while looking for that special audio or video file. You spend minutes (or hours, depending on how fast your connection is) and waste many MBs waiting for the file to get to your hard drive, only to find that the file is either not readable, not the one you wanted, or even worse: a disguised virus. There are many scammers who phish for people’s identities in order to steal money or just to damage their PCs.

So, how do you make sure you don’t download a fake torrent? Here are some tips for you:

1. Always read the comments. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and see if any users have left feedback on the file. I’ve seen many sites that include user comments that either praise the file and thank the host/uploader, or curse them because the audio/video is bad or the file is fake. If you see more than one negative comment, keep looking elsewhere.

2. According to the Netforbeginners Web site, you shouldn’t use any of these software clients because they have gained a bad reputation for seeding viruses, fake files, keyloggers and trojans:

  • BitLord
  • BitThief
  • Get-Torrent
  • TorrentQ
  • Torrent101
  • Bitroll

Instead, use Bittorrent, BitComet or Utorrent. There are more clients, but these are my favorites.

3. Do not download .wma and .wmv files, as they will lead you to a site that asks you to download additional codecs or malware! You can trust .avi and .mkv files.

4. If you see files that include special instructions, passwords and .exe files or anything else but the file you really want, do not download it. This is most likely a fake and a scam. You will only infect your computer with malware. And needless to say, if there is an executable file (.exe extension), it’s most likely a virus. There is no need for this in a torrent archive.

5. Check the status of the torrent. If you are downloading from Isohunt and TorrentBox, you can trust the file because these sites employ people who will actually verify that the file they host is authentic.

6. Do not download torrent files that include .rar, .zip, .tar or .ace extensions. Unless you are downloading a music album with many songs or a collection of photos/documents, there is no need to package and compress a file further. Do not trust the torrent if a movie includes any of these formats – it will be most likely malware.

7. Copy and paste the tracker names in Google search. If a tracker is legitimate, you will see many links to this tracker from other Web sites. If the tracker is fake, there will be many unrelated hits and often accompanied with the words ‘fake’, as other P2P users warn downloaders about fraudulent trackers.

8. When downloading movies, confirm the movie release date – Use Wikipedia or to see when the movie was released. If the file is older than that date, stay away from it.

Source: Net for Beginners

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