are limited to posting in the "alt.binaries" hierarchy. You can send
with an attached binary file with the "Attach" button
or menu item of most news reader programs. However,
most newsgroups are designed for text communication only. Therefore, most news
servers will ignore any posting with an attached binary file unless it is
posted to "alt.binaries".
can contain messages with attached office documents, pictures, sounds, video,
program files. A good example of a binary newsgroup is alt.binaries.pictures.fine-art,
which often contains a nice set of new and beautiful pictures. The binary hierarchy
is also known to contain a range of newsgroups containing programming resources,
hacker distribution newsgroups, and adult content.
You can download binary
attachments from newsgroups onto your computer for viewing or running. You should specify in your program
settings where download files should be stored, usually in a special folder called
"downloads" or "attachments" on your desktop. See the section on downloading
for more information.
During the actual process of downloading a binary file, it can't hurt your
computer. Also, image files such as JPEG or GIF formats are safe for
simply viewing with a non-compromised viewer. However, video files, multimedia
files, and Microsoft application documents may contain macro
and executable files may contain
program viruses. Therefore, you should
download non-image binaries from trustworthy sources on the web instead of the
Usenet whenever possible to maximize safety.
Of course, whatever
ensure that all binary files are scanned on download by your virus
protection program. Like the larger Internet,
the Usenet is a public space with many different types
of users from a broad cross section of humanity across the planet, so
from binary newsgroups are never guaranteed to be safe.