Kaspersky warns about the potential dangers of downloading Windows 11

Windows 11 laptop

As with any big-name software that is yet to be officially released, there is not only great enthusiasm about Windows 11, but also a rush to get hold of it by any means possible. While there are formal channels through which to obtain Windows 11 legitimately in order to test it out, scammers are taking advantage of the excitement surrounding the new operating system.

Security firm Kaspersky has issued a warning for anyone thinking about downloading Windows 11. The company urges caution lest users find their system infected with malware and adware, particularly in the light of a 1.75GB file that is currentlyu in circulation called 86307_windows 11 build 21996.1 x64 + activator.exe.

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Unsurprisingly, the download is not what it purports to be; anyone downloading and installing it will find their computer becomes riddled with malware. And this is far from the only instance of scammers using the impending launch of Windows 11 to lure people in and have them install everything from adware and spyware to keyloggers and other malware.

Kaspersky says that it has already been able to thwart several hundred instances of fake Windows 11 installers being used to distribute malware. The security firm warns:

Microsoft hasn't yet released Windows 11, but the new operating system is already available for download and preview. Cybercriminals, of course, are exploiting that, slipping malware to users who think they're downloading Microsoft’s new operating system.

But, as mentioned, it is possible to get your hands on Windows 11 right now, completely free of charge. Microsoft has made preview builds of the operating system available to Windows Insiders, and you can easily sign up to take part in this program via Settings in Windows 10.

Kaspersky says:

Download Windows 11 from official sources only, as Microsoft advises. So far, Windows 11 is officially available only to participants in the Windows Insider program -- that is, you have to register. You'll also need a device with Windows 10 already installed.

To upgrade your Windows 10 computer to Windows 11, go to Settings, click Update & Security, then select Windows Insider Program and activate Dev Channel to get the update.

We don't recommend running the update on your main computer; prebuilds can be unstable.

The company also advises everyone to " use a reliable security solution and never disable it"

Image credit: rawf8 / Shutterstock

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