It’s getting close to exam time for students. A phalanx of tests, essays, lab reports and term papers is putting the pressure on even the most dedicated student – while for those who have made little effort to study hard, that carefree life during term time looks more distant than ever. For some, of course, shirking still beats working, and the preferred solution is to find the necessary material and download it from the Internet. But how safe is this? Let’s have a closer look.
A determined student can find anything online – ready-made essays on all topics, and a host of free music, video and software is readily available. For example, a tricky term paper can be conjured out of the ether by simply googling ‘download term paper on …”
Sounds familiar? We are not going to dispute the ethics of such approach (although we don’t approve), but we will remind you of the threats that may arise on the way to the desired freebie.
Most often the allegedly “free” sites offer files from the archives, and access demands a password received via a text message. What does this mean? Well, maybe you’ll be lucky and get a working password for a small sum. Most of the time, though, you’ll pay a large one-off fee for a fake access code, or you’ll lose a small, regular drip-drip of payments from your account. It’s a simple and commonplace fraud.
There are other possibilities. Instead of sending a text message, maybe you’ll asked to install a special program to download from the site you need. And there’s the risk – how do you know you won’t be getting a whole bunch of malicious software, porn banners and advertising along with the program you want?
Some sites offer torrents instead of downloads with the help of a special program. The same risks apply, though. How do you know the files are not infected? Or do not contain malicious programs, such as ones that will block your computer and start extorting money for unblocking it?
That’s not the end of the risks. Other sites can automatically install malware on your computer as soon as you access them. This is a popular trick among fraudsters who like to push their websites to the top of the search engine results. Not all fake results are harmful, though: some simply lead to an advertising page. It’s annoying, but does no lasting damage.
These are only the basic and most common threats and challenges that you are likely to encounter if you try to download a ready-made paper. Instead of running that risk, why not invest your time and effort into researching a good, interesting report? Education isn’t just about getting good marks; it’s about preparing for your future career and acquiring good habits and vital knowledge. What kind of employer would prefer someone who can download a text and pass it off as his own over a potential employee who has proven skills? Not one we’d like to work for.