Two tricks to download files while remaining safe from malware are to only download from sites that you trust and never download file attachments to emails that you are not sure are fully secure.

The most dangerous file to download is an executable file that uses the .exe extension at the end of the file name. Clicking on this will run a kind of program, and can therefore pose an active threat. Open a trusted website that contains downloadable files. Usually, websites offer a Download button or a link that starts file downloads.

If you don't know the file to download but want to practice these steps, you can search and download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, a practical and popular utility program. (If the Adobe website only shows the version for Windows 8.1, it's okay to download and install it.)

Click the appropriate link or button to continue. (This button is often called Downloads, but on the Adobe site it can be called Install.) Windows may display a dialog box asking for your permission to continue downloading; click Yes. Downloading may also open in a separate Microsoft Edge window in some cases.

By default, the security scan runs during document download. The toolbar that appears along the bottom of the Microsoft Edge window, shown in the following image, displays different options depending on the type of file being downloaded:

For executable files, click Run to download the file to a temporary folder. You can run a software installation program, for example. However, be careful: If you run a program that you get from the Internet, you can introduce dangerous viruses to your system. You might want to set your antivirus program to scan files before downloading them..

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