Online safety when downloading

Audacity Team takes online security very seriously and work hard to ensure the safety of our users, but our efforts can only be effective up to a point. For your online safety it is important that you take reasonable precautions. The advice below is written specifically about Audacity, but much of it applies equally to using the Internet and downloading anything from anywhere.

At the very least, please always ensure that you follow the “Quick security checklist” below. For additional tips and information, read the rest of this page.

Quick security checklist

  1. Is your computer operating system up to date?
  2. Is your anti-virus program up to date and enabled?
  3. Are you downloading from the software’s official website?
  4. Did you follow the download and installation instructions?
  5. Have you scanned the downloaded file for viruses?
  6. Is the checksum of the downloaded file correct?

General computer security

  • Ensure that you computer’s operating system is up to date with all the latest security fixes. Ensure all applications you use, especially your web browsers, are kept updated. All operating systems and software can have security vulnerabilities, and software developers work hard to close them. If your computer is not kept up to date, you are potentially at risk.
  • Ensure you have reputable anti-virus monitoring software installed and that you keep it up to date. This means both having the latest version of the software, and keeping it updated with the software publisher’s latest definitions of viruses and suspicious behaviour. Consider doing one-off scans from time to time with a second anti-virus application, for a second opinion. New viruses and malware are created every day, so for effective protection it is essential that your security protection is kept up to date.
  • While Windows is the major target of most viruses and malware, neither Mac OS X or Linux are immune to attack, so avoid high risk websites and services. Emails can be faked. Don’t click links in emails that ask for your personal information.
  • Use an effective firewall. Most correctly configured routers provide effective firewalls. Consult the manual for your router to ensure that it is secured. Enable the most secure WPA2-PSK (AES) option, which is available on most modern routers. Use a software firewall too. On most modern operating systems, this just means checking if that firewall is running.

Download sites

Always use official sites for downloading software. Audacity software is currently distributed via FossHub, and can be downloaded from https://www.audacityteam.org/.

To download Audacity from the Audacity website, left-click on the appropriate text link.

  • Do not ‘right-click’.
  • Do not click on ‘Download’ buttons. We do not use download buttons on this website.

Beware the Big Green Button

Both the Audacity website and our download partner FossHub have a few adverts to help support our running costs. The adverts are filtered to block “bad” adverts, but occasionally a bad advert may slip through. A common form of “bad advert” is what we refer to as “the Big Green Button”, which is an advertisement that attempts to lure visitors to download unwanted software or malware. The Audacity website is regularly monitored and such adverts are actively blocked as quickly as possible.

Testing links before downloading

Virus Total is a free online virus, malware and URL Scanner (https://www.virustotal.com/). To test the reputation of a site prior to downloading, select the “URL” tab on their main page, then copy and paste the web address that you wish to test.

Testing files after downloading

Your installed anti-virus software only gives you one opinion on a downloaded file. A quick and convenient way to virus check a downloaded file against over 50 anti-virus engines is to upload it to Virus Total (https://www.virustotal.com/).

Testing the validity of a downloaded file

To test that a file is unmodified, ensure that the downloaded file’s checksum matches with the checksum published by the software developer. The checksums for current Audacity downloads can be found at the bottom of this page.

 

To find the SHA-256 checksum:

You should check against the SHA-256 checksum because this is the most secure of the checksums listed for Audacity. There is an online checksum calculator available here:
https://md5file.com/calculator (opens in new window or tab).

 

Audacity checksums: