If you have ever used a computer connected to the Internet, chances are you have experienced a computer virus. You could have been still in primary school, just new to computers, or you didn’t pay enough attention, even though you are familiar with the basic security rules of the Web. Anyhow, getting infected is not pleasant – it can get your personal data stolen, delete valuable information and projects, or just mess with your head until you succeed in eliminating the virus.
With this in mind, many people try to build virtual walls around their systems to keep them safe, which usually involves the use of antivirus software. It is good to have at least a fence set up against malicious threats. Following these five tips, you can lay the foundation for safe computer usage. After all, you can never be too cautious when it comes to browsing the net.
This should be your first step when setting up your defense tools. A proper set of anti-virus software keeps your computer protected on a fundamental level. Programs like McAfee, Norton and Total Defense are developed in line with the newest known viruses, ransomware and spyware. They are efficient in removing infected files and destroying virus carriers before they spread to another device in your set-up.
You would be surprised at the number of home computers without an active antivirus on them. What is more, it is not enough to just install an anti-virus application. You need to update it regularly because a defense which isn’t maintained is like a crooked wall, waiting to be crushed. Be it a free trial or a paid version, you need to make sure it is correctly updated to detect malicious invaders.
This is a basic tip, but a crucial one. Scanning for viruses is just like bringing your computer to a doctor for a medical check. You can easily make a parallel between taking care of your own health and that of your computer. In the end, it is where you work (in most cases), mingle with friends and family, and overall spend a number of hours throughout the day.
We are aware that scans may slow down your system, especially if you are working with heavy visual applications. You can avoid that by scanning your device at night or when you don’t need to use it heavily. However, to avoid taking measures like this, you can simply use software like Avast which don’t slow down your computer at all while scanning.
A few decades ago, people used one compute to carry out all of their tasks. Nowadays, we have a constant connection between printers, tablets, routers, and other devices – all of them using a single WiFi network. While this is very convenient, it comes with some potential dangers to look out for. To avoid being hacked through your wireless connection tool, be sure to use WPA or WPA2 encryption. With WEP you are basically inviting hacking experts to get into your system on a daily basis.
You can even go further by hiding your SSID – the name of your Wi-Fi network – from other users. To do this, simply type it in along with the password when you want to connect to the Internet.
We don’t know about you, but we have certainly clicked an exciting-looking pop-up at least once in the history of our web exploration. While some may say it was way more dangerous to do so years ago, the action still carries a fair amount of risk now. Nobody likes to be invaded by countless desktop ads every second, right?
Same goes for emails. Our advice is to never click on links in emails in general (we exclude the Christmas pictures your aunt sent you). If you definitely need to click on an URL, hover over it first to see its full address – it may redirect you to a totally different page than what is stated. In addition, always scan any downloadable files before opening them.
Hacking may be conducted even without the help of viruses. Many clever hackers can use any bit of information they find about you to crack your password. It may take them a while but it is not impossible. This is why you should always use different, unique passwords for your various accounts. Otherwise, you are at risk of a single password allowing a hacker to access all of your information. Keep them fancy – use upper/lower case letters, numbers, even symbols. Go wild and just try not to forget it. You can write them on separate pieces of paper and keep them in a safe drawer, if necessary.
Having a spotless computer depends on user habits. If you treat it like an important part of your daily life, you would act accordingly – scan it regularly, be aware of your browsing methods, and download a trusted anti-virus program. All of those combined would ensure a high risk of protection against viruses, malware and hackers.