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Xsunshinexdust's avatar

Will watching movies online (without downloading) give my computer a virus?

Asked by Xsunshinexdust (37points) April 9th, 2015

My teacher had recommended watching Hamlet online, but I’m afraid it will give my computer a virus. The site she pulled up was Does anyone have any experience using this site to watch movies? Or any recommendations for a safe site to watch movies on?

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8 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

See if Youtube has it.
Other than that make sure your anti-virus program is right up to date,and make sure you listen to it most will tell you if it is an unsafe site.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Web of Trust site, WOT, rates that site Good (Green) for Trustworthiness and Good (Green) for Child safety.

Web of trust rating

cheebdragon's avatar

Well it’s certainly a possibility.

jerv's avatar

Even being online at all runs that risk. See, whether you save the file to your hard drive or not, you are still downloading it; the only difference is whether you store a copy or not. If it were not that way, then you would NEVER see ANYTHING. Imagine a TV with no cable, satellite, or antenna. Imagine a smartphone in Airplane Mode.

Any transfer of data, even a simple signal telling the internet that your computer is powered on and online, could cause infection. That’s right, you don’t even need to open up a browser; you could get infected just by having an active internet connection period. Been there, done that, and boy howdy was it a bitch to disinfect! I had to not only format the drive, but nuke the MBR… four times! And all I did was tell my modem to dial in and connect!

If that sounds frightening, it isn’t really that bad. Think of how many times you’ve crossed a street and not been hit by a car. Just as looking both ways before crossing the street makes you safe, so too does having a good antivirus program. But by “trusted” I don’t mean the one with the shiniest box, and I definitely don’t mean the crapware that OEMs and ISPs consider “antivirus software”; those are like a $20 Rolux watch bought from some guy on a street corner. I use Avast!, but also used (and still trust) Avira.

As far as that particular link goes, I trust that site as much as I trust most other reputable sites. However, just because that site is safe, that doesn’t mean being online is risk-free; it just means that if you do get a virus, it won’t be from them.

@LuckyGuy Just for giggles, I ran Fluther through that WOT site; it scored Excellent on both. Oh, and if you ever install WinXP on an oldbox, disable the Messenger service before connecting to anything. That was the vector for the infection I had that corrupted multiple virgin installs.

RocketGuy's avatar

It is good to be careful – many movie viewing sites will have viruses and other malware.

jerv's avatar

@RocketGuy Well, yes and no. Considering that most of the video content (by sheer volume) on the internet is either porn or black market (think Pirate Bay), then yes. Porn sites and those hosting illegal content do tend to have more nastiness waiting to infect any computer that connects to them. So yes, it’s good to be careful, and yes, many such sites do contain malware.

However, going to those sites is like going to the worst part of a tough city at night. If you’re the type of person that has enough common sense to stay in well-lit areas and avoid areas where even the police won’t go, then you will probably either be dealing with sites like Netflix (the online equivalent of a tourist trap) or, as the OP is doing, use “Web of trust” and ask people whose opinion you trust to vouch for places.

Keeping yourself safe online really isn’t all that hard. You just have to realize that many things about the internet have real-world equivalents. That’s why I use analogies; most people do look both ways before crossing the street, stay out of Hell’s Kitchen at 2am, and distrust those selling a $15,000 watch for $20, and that sort of common sense is about all you really need. All you have to do is take that and figure out how it applies to computers.

yogchoudhary's avatar

i don’t think so that watching online movie give your computer a virus, its totally depend on the site on which your are watching. if the site is virus free, than your pc will safe from virus, otherwise it will be a problem.

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