With the unprecedented increase in hacking incidents across the internet all over the world, it was only a matter of time before these concerns spread to one of the world’s most visited sites: YouTube. It is always better to be safe than sorry and so to question the possibility of a virus attacking the equipment where you keep personal information from family photos to financial documents, is a viable concern.
So can you get a virus from watching YouTube Videos? The direct answer is no. This is because YouTube re-encodes all the videos that are uploaded through its system. This would not be a surviving setting for any virus and it will be destroyed. So your YouTube video views are safe from such viruses however be cognizant of what links you press on the page you are on when watching YouTube videos. Maybe someone placed a virus-induced link in the description box. Clicking on it can take you to a website that contains a virus.
Another important thing to be aware of is making sure you load the actual YouTube site and not some dummy website that has been created to replicate the site. This method is called “phishing”. It involves making you think you are on YouTube when in actuality you are not. The iconic red and white theme is used to manipulate the design of a copy website to make it seem very close to the original one. To an untrained eye, not searching for any maleficence one may not notice the subtlety of the ruse. Occasionally these websites will present you with suggestions such as “update your Flash” or even to install certain programs. Do not fall for it! Also if you see such signs or links it is an indicator that you are probably not on YouTube. So before you start searching for videos and watching content keep an eye out for anything that may seem out of place on the website.
Even though it is relatively safe to watch a YouTube video on its own. Clicking on the ads might become a whole other story as every so often they can be expected to turn out to be malicious. There was an incident back in 2014 when scammers introduced ads that redirected viewers to a website that could sense the weak points in their equipment’s browser and then the site could automatically download malware fine tuned to the PC’s weak points. As they say you can never be too cautious and with the advancements in technology taking place by the minute it is always better to be prepared. Before you go on a rampage with your views, likes and shares, keep in mind that there is a chance of sketchy links that can be accessed through YouTube. To keep your devices safe from YouTube related hacks it is necessary to educate yourself and your children about the warning signs. Be mindful and go subscribe to all your favorite channels!
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