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Checking Downloaded Files

Sometimes downloading what seems to be perfectly safe and well established files, gets people infected with a virus. Often, this is because the file isn't really the legitimate file, but a virus-carrying imitation file. Microsoft has responded to this threat by allowing programmers to purchase digital signing software from some Certificate authority and verify it inside Windows. The digitally signed certificate verifies that the software comes from the company it says it does and also that it has not been tampered with.

This is similar to the technology used when you connect to your bank online. It verifies that the bank really is the bank and also that messages between you and the bank are not tampered with. Since the digital signatures cost a few hundred dollars a year (or more), they are affordable for companies, but some small individual programmers may not purchase them. When they do not purchase a certificate, you get an "unknown publisher" alert when running it.

If you have ANY question, just
  • Find the file,
  • Right click on it
  • Select properties
  • Select Digital signature
  • Highlight the company and choose Details
  • That should match the company

Here's a 25 second demonstration.

Date: June 2016

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