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Opening PDF documents is a risk for the cell phone if these measures are not taken

Why it is not safe to open PDFs instead of downloading them. (photo: Daily Report)

PDF It has become the most used format on the Internet and in computing in general to create, send and download documents due to the large number of functions it offers and its security services such as encryption or preventing its editing, however, sometimes this This file type has incompatibilities with web browsers, which can cause inconvenience for users.

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The vast majority of browsers tend to open PDF documents online as another window or tab, instead of generating the download directly on the computer. At first, this may seem practical and help to avoid accumulating junk files on computers, but it is a mechanism that can compromise the user security.

The biggest privacy problem that browsers present to users regarding these files is that they open automatically, whether they are downloaded or not, and many times people are doing activities with their computers in coffee shops, work, libraries and many others. other public spaces.

It is not convenient to open PDF documents containing personal information in public places.
It is not convenient to open PDF documents containing personal information in public places.
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This happens because when a particular browser is used to make queries and other types of tasks on the Internet, it will do everything possible to prevent the user from resorting to another service that may be installed natively in the computer’s operating system.

In other words, every time a PDF document is downloaded or clicked on, the web browser application will open it automatically to show it to the user and thus prevent them from using another similar service for some reason. You could say it’s a matter of competition between browsers.

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For example, all computers with Windows 10 and 11 operating systems will have Edge activated by default as the application to open PDF documents, so if another browser were downloaded, it would conflict with the existing one and prevent used by opening files without querying.

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In Windows 10 and 11 Microsoft Edge is the default app for opening PDF documents. (photo: TecnoBreak)
In Windows 10 and 11 Microsoft Edge is the default app for opening PDF documents. (photo: TecnoBreak)

In a nutshell, this feature is a web service competition strategy that could be very costly to the user if they were outside the security of their home with their laptop and happened to download or click on a PDF file with sensitive information. like bank accounts.

Likewise, this feature, which is more common in some specific browsers, could affect the performance of computers, since if several documents are being searched or downloaded at the same time, they will open one after the other in different tabs that will remain working on background, thus reducing the capacity of the RAM and the processor.

However, this situation has a solution, since most browsers offer the possibility of deactivating this function, which normally comes by default, as in the case of Google Chrome. These are the instructions:

How to prevent Chrome from opening PDF documents instead of downloading them. (Soft Zone)
How to prevent Chrome from opening PDF documents instead of downloading them. (Soft Zone)

1. Open Google Chrome on the computer.

2. Click on the browser settings which is the icon of three vertical dots located at the top right of the screen.

3. Select the privacy and security section.

4. Click Site Settings.

5. Go to the “Content” section and click on “Additional content settings”.

6. At this point a menu will be displayed where the option “PDF Documents” must be selected.

7. Check the option that says “Download PDF files”. It is not necessary to save the changes.

Although this is the easiest way to prevent PDF documents from being opened instead of downloaded, you can also install an extension that is compatible with several browsers and its function will be to block websites that force the system to open files instead of downloading them. , his name is “PDF Force Download Blocker”.

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