Skip to Content
malicious movie links
© Vadym Pastukh |
TV & streaming

Looking for something to watch? This mistake puts your computer at risk

There are plenty of streaming services where you can get your fill of entertainment. With rising costs, you might be looking for ways to save money. Tap or click for a simple trick to save hundreds of dollars.

Services such as Netflix let you download content to your computer (depending on your subscription level), so you can watch it later. Similarly, the music service Spotify allows you to download songs and albums.

But not all download links are equal. Click on the wrong one and you can put your computer and information at risk. Read on to see how hackers entice you with fake downloads and ways to avoid malicious links.

Here’s the backstory

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has once again proven that you can’t blindly trust any link on the internet. Security researchers found that many links claiming to let you watch the action live led to malicious websites that would infect your device with malware.

The same can happen when a highly-anticipated film is released. You might be eager to watch that blockbuster, but it’s unavailable on your streaming service. If you search for free ways to watch, it could lead to infecting your device with malware.

That’s why we always advise using common sense when searching for streaming content and avoiding pirated movies and music.

Think about the type of person who would post links to stolen material. Exactly. They can’t be trusted. If they have no shame in sharing stolen content, they will not give a second thought to spreading malware.

How to avoid malicious links

Not only can malicious links infect your device with malware, but they could steal sensitive details from you. Some sites claiming to offer pirated content still ask for credit card details. They claim it’s to verify your identity, but you’re handing banking details to criminals.

You also need to be on the lookout for spoofed websites. There are legitimate streaming services that offer free content. But if a cybercriminal spoofs a site, it could be infested with malware.

One way to avoid spoofed sites is to verify where a link takes you before clicking. An easy way to see where a URL goes is to hover your cursor over the link. Here you’ll see a preview of the link’s destination. If it looks strange, don’t click on it.

As we said earlier, never search for pirated content. Not only is it most likely illegal, but it poses a severe risk to your devices. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Paying a few bucks to watch a movie legitimately is much cheaper than dealing with malware.

Another great way to protect your devices is to have trustworthy antivirus software running and updated on all of them. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

This security suite protects your devices from the worst bad actors on the web have to offer: malware, ransomware, spyware and adware. Its WebShield tool provides advanced protection against malicious websites, and it blocks attempts to steal your info. TotalAV is 100% compatible with Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and Android phones.

Keep reading

Want to try Netflix with ads? It doesn’t work on these streaming devices

These handy sites can help you find the streaming shows you’re looking for

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me