My gut reaction is that you probably just had a close call. You did all the right things – as soon as you noticed that something wasn’t what you expected it to be, you canceled the suspicious download.
But, there’s no way to be completely certain that something didn’t get downloaded. But clearly the site that you went to is doing more than you’re asking them to do.
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Always download from the official site
There are several issues with not downloading from the offical site:
- Unofficial sites don’t always offer the most recent version of whatever it is you’re looking for.
- Unofficial sites often try to give you additional software as part of the download. They’ll include things like toolbars, search engine changes and more. None of these are needed and often come as quite the annoying surprise.
- Malicious unofficial sites may very well include malware as part of your download.
- Malicious unofficial sites may also be constructed so that just visiting the site may compromise your machine with malware.
There are trusted and valid download sites out there, but I see no reason to use them, other than as reference for things like user ratings, comments and comparisons with alternative tools. Once you find a tool you want to download get it from the official site for that tool, or the download site that the official site directs you to.
Assume you are infected
Now, I don’t think your machine got infected, but if there’s any question it’s best to assume that something happened.
Start by having your anti-virus and anti-malware software scan your machine. Make sure those tools have current subscriptions and are using up-to-date databases of malware information.
I also recommend grabbing a copy of Malwarebytes.org’s free tool and running a scan with that simply because it has a tendency to catch some things that many of the other tools do not.
Watch your step
Ultimately, you need to watch what you’re doing. When you need to download freeware or shareware, make sure that you’re downloading from official sites. For example Firefox should always come from Mozilla.
Now, it can get confusing when an official site refers you to third-party download site. In those cases it’s OK, because it’s an endorsement from the official site. It’s the unofficial sites that you encounter via searches that cause the most concern concern. Most of them are okay, but some of them aren’t and telling them apart can be very difficult.
If you make a mistake, scan your machine. Again, in your case I think you’re fine and didn’t download anything malicious, but keep an eye out for any odd behavior from your machine.