How to Detect Potentially Unsafe File Types in ZIP?

Sometimes when you try to click a Zip file, or try downloading one from internet, Windows and WinZip categorizes them as suspicious to download. It may even warn that you are working with a file type that could potentially contain a virus. Meaning, Zip file may contain potentially unsafe file types!

Which file types are said to be potentially unsafe?

The very good instance for potentially unsafe file type is EXE file type. Well, most of the times EXE files are proved to be safe. But, sometimes malicious software write programs that can infect the computer and distribute them through .exe files. Some of the other file types include –

The above list is not definitive and it doesn’t mean that there is something suspicious or wrong with the files mentioned in the list. But still it is suggested not to work with such kind of files until and unless you are sure about source that the file has come from.

How WinZip deals with potentially unsafe file types?

Well, as it is mentioned earlier a dialog warning box will appear when you attempt to double click a potentially unsafe file type. Remember that you will get the warning message only when you double-click a file (within a Zip file) and open it with WinZip.

WinZip, world’s most known ZIP or ZIPX extractor, will also put a warning when you try to install software present within Zip file. However, you can ignore this warning and still continue to unzip files to a folder on your disk.

Note: All of the warning dialogs have check boxes that you can use to stop them from displaying again.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to extract files from Zip, then chances are that the Zip file might be damaged due to the presence of potentially unsafe files. In such case, to easily extract contents of Zip, use Yodot ZIP Repair Software. Not just from .ZIP format, this tool is even helpful when you cannot open 7z as archive or when ZIPX file shows multiple errors failing to extract content.

Next, in order to safeguard Zip files from being a victim of potentially unsafe files and protect from being corrupt, Yodot recommends you to follow some tips. Have a look…

  • Don’t open a Zip file which you received from an email of an unknown source
  • Don’t download Zip files from un-trusted sites
  • When an unexpected Zip file is attached to e-mail from someone you know, consider verifying with the sender that the attachment is legitimate.
  • Configure your system with good anti-virus program to scan all the files that you deal with in real time
  • Disable hidden file name extensions on your Windows so that you can easily get to know about the file extensions of the files you are working with

Of course, these guidelines don’t apply only to Zip files; they apply equally to any file type.

Further, the attack on Zip files with potentially unsafe files has become so popular that the versions of Internet Explorer and email clients like Outlook will also make you to be cautious when you are about to collaborate with such kind of file types.