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I accidentally downloaded a .bin file on my computer, but I didn't click on it or open it. I did use my virus scanner to scan it (result: no threats) and then deleted it. I've read somewhere that .bin files can be extremely dangerous, but is my computer in any danger since all that happened was the file briefly existed on the hard drive (and was scanned)? I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, I know very little about computers and I'm just a bit concerned!

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  • What was the source of your download? I've downloaded and used many legitimate .bin files containing firmware images... The file extension could be the least relevant detail. Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 19:46

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Simply downloading a file should not cause any problems since the file was not executed. Malware generally cannot cause any damage unless it is executed. Additionally, on Windows, .bin files are not executable by default so if you use Windows, even if you did click on it, nothing should have happened.

Although theoretically, downloading a file could result in infection (see this question), this is not something the average user should have to worry about, since such vulnerabilities usually require high technical sophistication to find and exploit (unless you are running a hopelessly outdated OS). So, as long you don't have any reason to worry about being targeted by state-level attackers or the like, you don't have any cause for concern

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  • Thanks for your help! I use a Mac computer, does that make any difference? I suppose it doesn't, since the file was not executed? Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 18:40
  • No it doesn't since the file wasn't executed.
    – nobody
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 18:41

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