It is known that viruses can ruin your computer or even steal your information. This guide shows how to protect your computer from viruses.
Every day, there are almost 1 million new viruses created. This should be a huge indication of what threats bombard your computer on a daily basis.
After reading that, you might be wondering about ways to fight against these malicious files. Thankfully, there are some very effective ways you can fend off these attacks so you can keep your data safe.
By reading this article, you’ll learn how to protect your computer from viruses so you don’t have to deal with any hassles in the future.
Firewalls are essentially the digital gatekeepers of your computer. They monitor the traffic that goes in and out, and if anything seems off, they basically shut the gates so intruders can’t make it in and your details don’t make it out.
When you’re surfing online, you must have a firewall enabled. Otherwise, you’re asking to be hacked! Even the most basic viruses can infect your computer if you don’t have a gatekeeper.
All operating systems come with their own firewalls, so just do a quick search for them. They should be automatically turned on, so if you find that your computer’s isn’t, make extra sure to turn it on.
Have Robust Antivirus
In addition to a firewall, you should have a robust antivirus program. If you really don’t have any extra money to pay for antivirus, download a free program that has good reviews. Or you can use a trial version for a little bit.
But to really protect your computer from viruses, you usually need to get a paid subscription. The paid programs are usually more sensitive to viruses and it’ll be money well spent. All it takes is for 1 virus to make it through and ruin everything, after all.
So the sooner you can get a paid subscription, the better.
And if you have a Mac, don’t think you’re safe either. There’s a common misconception that Apple devices can’t get viruses. They can indeed, so learn more here: https://setapp.com/how-to/antivirus-tips-for-mac.
Perform Regular Virus Scans
Nowadays, most antivirus programs will automatically perform scans for you. This is usually done in the early AM hours, as you’re most likely asleep and not using your computer.
However, if you’ve disabled this feature, or your program doesn’t have it, you need to stay on top of regular virus scans. You never know if a malicious file has snuck onto your device, so by routinely performing virus scans, you’ll be able to catch those sneaky files and get rid of them.
Keep All Programs Up-To-Date
Pretty much every person is guilty of this: you click “update later” when a program’s update pop-up appears. You’re in the middle of something and don’t want to be interrupted, but you can’t be bothered to update later either. So it’s a perpetual game of clicking “update later” whenever the pop-up arbitrarily decides to get in your face.
You’re only hurting yourself when you’re doing this though.
You see, hackers are always on the hunt for program vulnerabilities. Think of it as a hole in a fence or ship; they want to get in, so they’re constantly looking for anything to exploit.
Programmers know this so they’re always trying to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. When they figure out where vulnerability is, they push out updates and patches so those are fixed and can’t be taken advantage of.
Every time you hit “update later,” this is giving the hackers extra time to sniff out those vulnerabilities and get in. So it’s vital you update programs ASAP and keep them updated.
Scrutinize All Emails
Cybercriminals don’t just actively try to get into your network. They also perform social engineering to trick you into giving up your credentials willingly.
For example, they’ll pretend to be a well-known name (like Microsoft) and email you, disguised as them. The name and email address will look pretty convincing. They’ll even draft an email that’s pretty believable, complete with what looks like the official logo.
In most cases, they’ll create a sense of urgency, saying your account’s been compromised or they’re closing it soon. They’ll ask you to confirm your credentials by clicking on a link. It’ll then lead you to what looks like the official login screen, and of course, you’ll input your username and password.
In other cases, they’ll ask you to download an attachment on the email. The best course of action is to refrain from downloading anything that’s unsolicited. But if you accidentally do download something, this is where the firewall and your antivirus program will come in handy, as they’ll usually block anything that’s harmful.
But to avoid this happening at all, you need to scrutinize your emails. While things like the name and email address might look legit at first glance, if you look carefully, you might notice there’s a missing/extra letter or that what initially looked like a lowercase l is actually a capital i.
The body of the email might also have some spelling and syntax errors. Big brands pay big money to their employees to ensure communications are flawless, so chances are, if there are errors, the email’s not from the actual company.
Know How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses
You probably have lots of sensitive information on your computer, so knowing how to protect your computer from viruses is a must. Not only is it a hassle to restore everything after being hacked, but it may compromise some proprietary data that you can never get back.
So take a little bit of your time to ensure that your devices are properly protected from hackers. It’ll be worth the time spent!
If you found this article on how to protect your computer from a virus useful, then please read our other articles for more tips.