Malware is a malicious computer software that can hijack your computer and take control of your operating system. There are some malware that do not cause any harm, only annoyance. Nevertheless, it is important to take care of malware if it has infected your computer. Thankfully, by being a little mindful, you can keep your computer safe and prevent your livelihood as well. Here are some tips.
1. Install an Antivirus Software
Antivirus is one of the oldest and one of the most basic security solutions for your computer. Regardless the type of your computer, it is important to install the antivirus tool that can also detect and remove malware from the computer. Even though it is the most elementary protection tool, plenty of computers, especially the ones used in homes do not have it. If you wish to keep your device safe and secure, the first thing you need to do is buy an antivirus program. You can also install best Internet security software that has all the features of antivirus and additional safety tools.
2. Make Sure the Antivirus Software Remains Up to Date
Installing the antivirus is is just the first step. You also need to make sure that it is maintained. Whether you have a free antivirus or a paid one, it is important to install its update whenever they are available. The antivirus software is updated to keep it caught up with the new threats out there. Even the free antivirus tools keep prompting for updates. For instance, if you use Windows, you may have noticed that it has a built-in security tool that requires updates. Even if you have anti-malware software keep it up to date.
3. Always Run the Scheduled Scans by the Antivirus
Most antivirus tools, free or paid, offer you the option to run the regular scans at scheduled times. Your antivirus software has the capability to scan every corner of your computer. During the scan it detects and removes the threats that may otherwise remain unidentified. Make sure the time gap between two scans isn’t very large. It is best to scan your computer at least once a week. Set the scheduled scans so that even if you forget the timely scan, the antivirus still does it for you.
4. Keep Your OS Up to Date
Like I said, Windows has a built-in security tool that comes free with the license. I must say that the security system of Windows is pretty solid and is capable of keeping your computer safe to a huge extent. Even Mac OS and Linux operating systems come with integrated protection services. Whenever your OS prompts you for an update, do not ignore it. This is because it may be fixing a security patch, which could make your computer safer.
5. Take Care of Network Security
We connect many devices and peripherals to our computers over Wi-Fi. If you are using Wi-Fi, ensure that it is password protected. Do not use WEP protection as it is not reliable any longer. Use either WPA or the WPA2 encryption. It will also be a good idea to hide your SSID. You can type it manually to gain access to Wi-Fi. Even if you have the best Internet Security software, always protect your home internet network.
6. Be Cautious While Clicking
While browsing the internet, be wary of the dubious looking websites. If the website seems suspicious do not click any link on it. If the site prompts you to download a file, always deny the request. If you still have to download a file from such a site, make sure you scan the file before you run it. It is all the more important to be aware of the shortened URLs. Again, having the best Internet Security Software can be of great help here.
7. Secure Your Personal Information
A sweet-talking email can lure you into providing the bank account details or other personal information. This is called phishing. Never provide your personal details unless you are absolutely sure about the web site. If you use social media services like Facebook or Twitter, make sure you have enabled all the privacy settings. The more you reserve your personal information the safer it will be. If you are on discussion boards, it is best not to reveal your real name or identity.
8. Always Use Back-up
Some viruses or malicious programs have only one purpose – delete your files or make them unrecoverable. This is why it is extremely important to keep your files backed up regularly. It will be a good idea to have multiple backups of the files at different locations. Also, make sure that at least one of the locations is offline and cannot be accessed via internet.
9. Never Use Open Wi-Fi Connections
‘Free’ Wi-Fi is something that attracts almost everyone. This is the reason why a number of cafes, shopping places, libraries, and even hotels provide free Wi-Fi to their patrons. While it definitely feels good being connected to the world all the time, it comes with its fair share of risks. The open Wi-Fi networks are password-less and non-encrypted. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to attacks. Any device connected to them may become the target of viruses or hackers.
10. Keep Multiple Password
We need a password for our emails, bank accounts, social media services, and other services. While the password management becomes easy when you have one password for all. However, if someone gains access to your password, they will be able to breach into your emails, bank accounts, social media accounts all at the same time. Maintain separate passwords for each service. If you find it difficult to remember, you can always use free password managers.
Keeping the computer safe is one of our top priorities. We are constantly exposed to threats as we have opened ourselves to the world through internet. While there are many safety services out there, it is important to be mindful about a few things we have laid out above. If you are cautious you will be able to keep your computer safe from malware and hackers.