Today, computers play an important role in the ways in which we, as human beings, interact with one another and with the world at large. What most of us do not realize is that the planet as we know it would be different without these machines and the internet technologies that they have engendered.
Unfortunately, the World Wide Web has, over the years, become a haven for people who, for one reason or the other, are bent on disrupting the normal flow of information.
Far from being the safe place that we would all like it to be, the internet is overflowing with viruses and other types malicious software. That is why it is important for you to protect yourself whenever you are connected to the internet. So, how do you protect your computer from malware and other threats?
How to Protect your Computer from Malware
With so much at stake, it is important, therefore, for you to protect your computer when using the internet. So, how do you go about doing this?
Use a Strong Antivirus
The easiest way through which you can protect your computer while surfing across the World Wide Web is through the use of a strong antivirus.
You will be surprised at the number of people who do not have malware protection on their computers? So, what is a computer antivirus?
What is an Antivirus?
An antivirus is a computer program that has been designed to detect, protect against and, where an infection has already taken place, eliminate, the various forms of malicious software that can be found on the internet. Below is a table that shows some of the best antimalware software that can be found out there;
What we use
At NetworkBees, we use the native Windows Defender on our computers. We have also previously used Malwarebytes, which is, admittedly, one of the best antimalware program that you will be able to find anywhere out there.
Update your Antivirus
This is another of the things that are essential for the protection of computers, which most people, unfortunately, neglect to do. Research shows that having an expired antimalware program on your PC is almost akin to having none at all.
The threats that exist across the internet are constantly evolving, and new forms of malware are always being made. That is why it is important for you to make sure that whatever the Antivirus that you are using to protect your computer has the latest virus and spyware definitions.
Most antiviruses can automatically carry out these updates. However, problems usually occur if you are using a paid Antivirus service, and you allow your subscription to expire.
Enable the Windows Firewall
Windows comes with a firewall that has been designed specifically to help protect your computer. Firewalls work by ensuring that unauthorized access is not made onto a private network. They can be implemented both at the software and hardware levels. You should make sure that the Windows Firewall is turned on and is set to provide you with maximum protection.
Do Not Visit Suspicious Websites
You can also protect your computer from malicious software by steering clear of suspicious websites. These are often the sources of most of the viruses that are used to attack computers. There are various ways through which malware creators lure people towards these sites, including by offering freebies.
The one thing that you need to remember while using the internet is that, if it appears to be too good to be true, then it’s probably too good to be true.
Many people fall prey to costly malware while hunting for free movies and music. The truth, however, is that you could end up paying more than the cost of a pirate movie if you insist on visiting untrustworthy websites and making pirate downloads.
Never Open Suspicious Email Attachments
If you do not have a long lost uncle and you receive an email attachment from someone in Nigeria telling you that you will inherit untold millions by opening an attachment, then you should resist the temptation and get rid of the email.
These attachments are another of the ways through which malware is spread across the internet. Surprisingly enough, these kinds of scams still appear to have takers despite the fact that so much has been said and written about the dangers that are posed by suspicious email attachments and downloads.
I recently produced articles about a phishing scheme that I replied to, in a bid to see how the cyber criminals would proceed with their ruses. You can read the articles by following this link.
Keep Your Computer Updated
Another way through which you can protect your computer from Malware is by making sure that it receives all the software updates that come from Microsoft.
Operations Systems are always being updated, and many of these updates are aimed at plugging security vulnerabilities.
Microsoft, as an example, periodically rolls out security related updates. The best way of making sure that your computer stays protected is, therefore, by setting your system to automatically receive and install updates as they are released (if you are not on Windows 10.)
By default, Windows 10 is set to automatically download and install updates, although this feature can be turned off. If you are concerned about bandwidth, all that you need to do is mark a given internet connection as metered, which will stop updates from being downloaded.
Back Up Your Computer
The truth of the matter is that whatever action you take to protect yourself, there is always the possibility that your computer will still fall prey to malware attacks. It is important, therefore, for you to always create a backup of all the important information that is on your computer.
Most of the ways of protecting your computer that are mentioned here are commonsensical. As part of protecting yourself, you can also lock your computer with a strong password, to prevent unauthorized access. In any case, the good news is that although there are many threats out there, there are things that you can do to virtually eliminate most of them. This should make your browsing experience virtually a safe one.