Computers have revolutionized our way of life, and we are now so dependent on them that they play a crucial role in every household and business. With an internet connection, they are one of the most important sources of knowledge. They are linked to and used to access emails, banking, and some of the most sensitive information in people’s lives. That in itself makes computers prone to viruses and malware that are implemented to harm your device and steal your personal data. Therefore, it is imperative that you take some or all of the following steps to protect your computer from viruses.
Computer operating systems are continually updated to increase their speed and enhance individual features. Not only that, but these updates also strengthen the PC’s system, overcoming security weaknesses present in older software versions. Setting your computer to automatically download and install those updates will ensure that it remains safe. These installations take a lot of time, but they’re worth your while.
Passwords are our accounts’ first line of defense against unauthorized access. Anyone who accesses your account(s) can steal your information and upload harmful content to your cloud storage that can automatically transfer to your computer. Using strong passwords minimizes this risk. A strong password is one that is void of personal information, is six characters or more in length, and incorporates symbols, upper and lowercase letters, and numbers. It’s important to note that you should never use the same password for more than one account because once it’s discovered, every other account will be at risk.
Two-step verification is a process that is used to secure your computer by way of a mechanism that requires that you verify yourself twice, normally on different devices. Your phone number, an alternate email address, or your password are all used—two of them are required on any given occasion. For example, when you sign into your computer with your password, you will receive a message requesting that you enter a code that will be sent either to your alternate email address or to your phone via text. This is the only way access will be granted to your computer. This additional layer of protection only takes a few seconds to set up and is more than worth your while.
Some scams involve emails, seemingly from reputable companies, where people misrepresent themselves to trick you into giving them access to your confidential information. This is referred to as phishing. Phishing emails commonly link to harmful websites that may steal your information or install a virus on your PC. Knowing more about such scams can help you identify them and protect yourself against them. At no time should you open suspicious emails or provide any sensitive information without first verifying the identity of the sender. A Nuwber search can assist you with that.
Installing antivirus software is a necessity, whether your computer has internet access or not. Some people are of the view that without an internet connection, an antivirus is not needed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth—viruses can actually be carried from system to system through the use of USB sticks. Ensure that your computer and all other devices have highly-rated antivirus software that scans regularly—at least once per week. It is recommended that these scans be done before conducting backups to ensure that they’re free from harmful files.
It can sometimes be very difficult to remove a virus or malware from your computer, and at times like these, it becomes necessary to remove some data or reformat your hard drive. If no backup is available, there’s no way to recover your lost data. There are even times when hard drives corrupt themselves, resulting in the loss of your data. It is therefore imperative that you have backups on hand that are free from malicious code. There are three backup storage options: cloud storage, external hard drives, and online storage. Free cloud storage is also available from some sites like Google. However, there is a limit to the amount of storage space. It must be noted, though, that backing up on external hard drives would be the safest option, because hackers have in the past been able to access users’ information that is stored on cloud platforms.
The advertisements that pop up online most often lead to websites that install viruses and steal your data. Trying to avoid these ads is a lot easier said than done, and it would no doubt be a better option for you to download an ad-blocker instead—a reliable one that stops the ads altogether. There are a number of free and paid options, however, the price generally determines how well an ad-blocker may function. Even with an active ad-blocker, you would still need to be very careful which websites you browse, as a number of websites will deny you entry unless you disable the app.
Protecting your computer against attacks means protecting yourself against various types of fraud. Scams continue to pose a serious risk to our security despite our best efforts to avoid them. Will we ever really be safe from them? Most likely not. But by implementing our tips above, you will no doubt protect your computer from viruses. Just a few efforts—and your data is safe.