The internet is full of useful study materials that can help you to complete those assignments and revise for that test. From practice papers to set texts, multimedia revision programs to example essays, there’s plenty of stuff out there.But downloading study materials can put your computer and your personal data at risk. Here are seven security tips that will help to keep you safe when downloading study materials:Use Trusted WebsitesNot every website claiming to offer useful study materials should be trusted. It may be that the files they provide contain malware that would compromise the security and performance of your computer. Always use trusted websites for downloads. Ask for recommendations from tutors. And if you find websites through an internet search, check that they have the “https” security seal at the start of their web address. That way you’re much more likely to find and download what you’re looking for.Keep Your Virus Protection UpdatedEven the most cautious of downloaders may make a bad decision every now and then. When you’re faced with deadlines and need a particular study aid fast, you might click on a download link that looks less than reputable in desperation. That’s where your virus protection can swoop in to save the day. It can prevent viruses from installing themselves on your computer. Keep your virus protection updated to ensure it’s working to the best of its capability.Get A VPNDownloading from a torrent is a cheap way to find study materials. But it’s not always the safest. If you choose to use a torrent for downloads, you need to sign up to a VPN. This virtual private network provides a direct and encrypted link between your computer and the data you’re receiving. It bypasses your ISP and it’s a much safer option than a standard internet connection.Check ReviewsIf you’re unsure about a download, look for reviews. Check to see if there is any feedback on the site in question and further afield too. Users who were disappointed with the file or noticed something suspicious may have reported their issues. A little initial investigation could save you a lot of time dealing with a virus later on.Know your File TypesBrushing up on your tech knowledge before you start downloading is a good idea. It will help you to keep your computer safe. Knowing the type of file you are downloading is essential. For instance, .exe files should always be downloaded with caution. This type of file allows a program to run on your computer and it’s one of the most common file types used to install a virus.Watch out for “Download” AdvertisementsWhen you decide to download a particular file, be sure that you’re clicking in the right place. Many sites, funded by advertising, include big “download” buttons that actually lead you to another website. Often these websites are not reputable and open your computer up to all kinds of viruses. Look over a whole webpage before deciding where the download button is really located. It’s often much smaller and more inconspicuous than you might expect.Take out your WalletWe don’t tend to get much for free in this world. And when it comes to downloading study materials, you may be better off paying for services rather than using free options. Paying for downloads and paying subscriptions for premium download sites will reduce the risk of adware or malware being installed on your precious computer.Downloading study materials without the necessary security is risky. It puts your computer and all of your files and assignments at risk. Stay safe when downloading and you’ll find the files you need whilst also keeping your data secure.About the author: Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.