Avoid fake extensions and protect your PC with NordVPN.
Double extensions are a way to trick internet users into downloading and executing a malicious file. We tend to assume that .doc or .jpeg files are safe because they are not executable, so we don’t hesitate to download and open them. How does it work?
File extensions on Windows are usually hidden but including a secondary (seemingly safe) extension creates the illusion that the file itself is safe and you don’t think twice about clicking on them. This way, “perfectly_safe.docx.exe” is displayed as “perfectly_safe.docx” and you might accidentally open it, thinking it’s a real Word file.
Since using double extensions is a simple, effective, and cheap way to trick distracted users into downloading and opening an executable file, hackers often employ this method. This is how cybercriminals managed to infect thousands of devices with CryptoLocker ransomware and extract 3M dollars from their victims.
Double extensions could pose a real threat to your Windows device. Here’s what you can do to stop them:
Open any folder, select the “View” tab, and check the box next to the “File name extensions.” You will be able to see the full filename, and that might be enough to stop you from accidentally opening a file with a double extension.
If it’s not there, it can’t hurt you. Never download and open files from unknown senders or suspicious websites, and you’ll be safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible.
All you have to do is turn NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature on. It will automatically notify you if it detects malicious files with fake extensions.
Open the NordVPN app.
Click the shield
Click on the little shield icon on the left side of your screen.
Turn it on
Toggle the Threat Protection switch on.
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