Is it safe to download free ebooks online?
Written by a NortonLifeLock employee
Jan. 18, 2018
We at Norton appreciate the importance of books and the value they add to our lives. We understand the primary goal of reading is to know more and grow more. Whether it’s read in a traditional paperback, on a tablet, on a computer, or on a mobile device, all books should be easily available for all to enjoy.
As more and more people lean towards reading in a digital format, here are a few things to keep in mind when reading ebooks.
- Never download pirated ebooks. Always buy books and digital content from legitimate retailers.
- Unless it’s from a trusted retailer, some ebooks may contain malicious software that can install malware, spyware, and viruses in your computer.
- Do not distribute ebooks unless the company or author allows it. Distributing copyrighted material is piracy, a punishable offense.
- Some suspicious websites offer bestsellers for free. These websites may not look suspicious at first glance. But what they are doing is unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. This pirated content might be called “free,” but it often comes with a price. Many of these .pdf, .epub, .zip and .exe files contain malware that could give your computer a virus, install spyware to monitor your web-surfing habits or place adware on your system.
- Always make sure you have reputable antivirus software like Norton Security in your device to catch those nasty viruses.
There are millions of ebooks you can download for free for your ebook reader, many of which are classics from the public domain: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Shakespeare's works and many others. Great sites to get these classics include Gutenberg.org or Archive.org.
Some newer works are available for free, too, either from independent authors looking for publicity or known authors who agree to offer some of their older works temporarily free to help promote newer books.
Rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you can’t find the book for free on a site like Amazon, you probably shouldn’t be getting it anywhere else for free. So stick with reputable sites or your ebook reader's official store, and be sure to keep your antivirus software up to date.
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Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
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