Want to change one type of file into another? Or remove a watermark? You might use free online file converters. But are they safe? Which should you try?
What is the first thing you would do if you need to convert a file from one format to another? You’d probably conduct a quick Google search, which would show that there are dozens of file converters out there that can get the job done quickly.
But are online file converters safe to use? Is it even a good idea to upload private documents with sensitive information? What’s the alternative, and is there a better way to convert files?
Are Online File Converters Secure?
Googling the term “convert word to pdf” produces more than two billion results. Of course, not all of these links lead to online file converters, but many on the first page do. It’s the same if you’re looking to change the format of a video file, quickly convert a PNG image into a JPG image, and so on.
The vast majority of these converters can be used free of charge, though most have certain restrictions in place and offer subscription packages. But how many of them are actually safe?
The real question is: should you trust online file converters as such? The truth is, there isn’t a system that cannot be breached or compromised in some way. You really shouldn’t upload sensitive data to the internet, or allow third parties to access it. If a file leaves your computer, you can assume it’s not as safe as it could be.
Uploading a random image to change its format may be fine, but using an online file converter to convert a document containing your personal information does not seem like a very good idea.
From a cybersecurity perspective, it’s always better to use reliable software, as opposed to an online service. Software that doesn’t need to connect to the internet is inherently safer than online-based converters.