Are zip files dangerous?
Generally, a zip file is not dangerous or harmful to use. However, malicious individuals use them to distribute harmful files that can harm your computer system. These malicious codes are contained within the files, waiting for you to execute them unknowingly.
Luckily, you can protect your computer system from Trojans, viruses, and other malware that a zip file can contain by following these three rules:
- Upgrade your systems with updates: Ensure you use the latest versions since they have essential security-related fixes and enhancements. Also, use a proper antivirus program to scan files installed on your computer.
- Know your source: Don't open zip files that come as email attachments from unknown sources. If someone you know sends you a zip file without your knowledge, you can confirm from them to verify whether the sender is legitimate. When on the internet, only download zip files from trusted websites.
- Disable hidden filename extensions: All Windows systems have a feature that, when enabled, does not display the file name extensions such as .EXE, .DOC, .JPG, and more. This is dangerous because you will not know the types of files you are dealing with.
How to zip a file
The process of zipping files on Windows 10 is straightforward. Use the following steps:
- Go to the folder of the file you wish to zip
- Right-click or press and hold the folder
- From the drop menu, select Send To
- Select Compressed (Zipped) Folder from the next menu
A new zipped folder with the same folder name appears in the same location as your original files.
How to open a zip file
Open your zip file on Windows 10 using the following procedure:
- Go to the zip file you wish to unzip folders from
- Carry out any of the following steps:
- If you want to unzip a single file, open the zipped folder, then drag the file to a new location.
- To unzip the entire content of your compressed file, right-click on the folder and select Extract All. Follow the subsequent procedures.
What does it mean to extract files?
Extract files is a term used to describe the decompression of files. It is restoring a file to its original form from a compressed folder such as zip files. Without extracting files from a zipped folder, you are not able to use them. Extract your zip files using the above procedure to open zip files.