Since the initial release, VLC has been downloaded over 3.5 billion times and is ranked among the top-rated free media players in this field. When owing huge popularity around the world, this open-source and full-featured media player software has also faced with many controversies and one constant worry is regarding its security. Is VLC media player safe to use?
Vulnerabilities and flaws in some versions of VLC have been reported over the past few years. Due to these vulnerable versions, certain media files that contain malicious elements may result in program crash, which causes security concerns and debates among users. Meanwhile, abstractly some vulnerabilities may provide an opportunity for an attacker to modify the program code and even temper with a user’s system.
But the good news is there is no any reported cases of vulnerabilities in VLC exploited by malicious files or leading to system harms. Most importantly, VideoLAN (VLC developer) regularly releases new versions with bugs and vulnerabilities patched. As soon as you download the installer from the official www.videolan.org website, it is absolutely clean and safe to use. There is no any malicious stuff like malware or virus bundled with the installer.
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In order to use VLC Media Player safely, please make sure you have done the following, which is also applicable to other programs.
Only download the VLC installer from reliable platforms. The official ww.videolan.org is the best place to go, in which you can download the latest version the first time. Besides, you can get this program on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store and other certified platforms if you can’t access the official site.
As mentioned previously, a new version usually comes with patches, fixes, and improvements. It is advisable to update to the latest version when available. Typically, an update dialog box will pop up in VLC when there are available updates. You can also go to Help > About to check for version information.
In order to avoid any possible risk, please do not download media files from suspicious websites as it is hard to identify whether the files you download from such platforms are safe to use or embedded with malware or disguised as the videos you want to.
Good antivirus software will help protect you from security risks further. They will scan information and files sent to your devices when you download or transfer files, surf on the Internet, stream media files, and more. They will also warn you when there is a potential threat or automatically quarantine and delete malware for you.
Is VLC media player safe to download and use? The answer is surely yes. You can use this popular media player software with confidence. But because of improper operation, for instance, downloading wrong installer of VLC or media files from an unknown platform, some users likely meet errors. So please be cautious to avoid any potential security problems.