10 best and basic ways to protect your computer from hackers and viruses
As long as you are connected to the internet, viruses and hackers are inevitable but there are basic ways to protect your computer from hackers and Viruses.
Don’t wait to be infected or attacked before you take action. Follow these simple steps for prevention their actions.
1. Have an Antivirus (with a firewall) installed:
Without an Antivirus and firewalls, consider the front door to your home computer unlocked while a riot takes place just outside.
Having it installed is not all that matters but periodically check the following to keep your home computer safe on the internet;
- Very important to make sure your antivirus up to date. This setting should be automatic.
- Enable periodic full virus scan of the entire computer by scheduling or doing so manually
- Be sure to scan any new USB flash drives connected to your computer.
I will recommend ESET Internet Security.
2. Keep your PC Updated
One of the best ways to protect your computer from viruses and hackers is by keeping your PC software or operating system up to date.
Best practice is to set your PC to install updates automatically. You can always check manually to see whether or not your PC is up to date.
3. Use strong and different passwords
Many companies suffer security through the release of passwords and usernames.
Passwords need to be strong and contain capital letters, numbers, and other symbols in no particular order.
A different, strong password for each service makes them difficult to remember, so I recommend using a password manager.
4. Encrypt and back up your files
You should also be wary of physical threats, when, for example, your laptop is being stolen. Even though a PC password exist, If someone cracks your password, having your sensitive data encrypted will stop them from getting or reading your information.
5. Don’t open unknown email attachments;
Your PC can be well secure but your friends or colleagues might not be. Malwares can take over an email account, sending out messages containing infections. If you have no idea email attachments was involved reach out and ask about its contents.
6. Beware of phishing scams
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to get information such as usernames, password and credit card details (and money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity.
One example mimics a PayPal document but actually infects your system with malware if you click the links included. Check for;
- blurry or unusual-looking company logos,
- bad grammar,
- study the names listed under ‘To:’ in the email header.
- never type your password into a field you didn’t prompt
- never give up too much information to a number you didn’t call
7. Only download files from trusted sources
Just because SmartScreen or an antivirus doesn’t pick up a website or file as malicious that doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk. If the website has a long URL with plenty of consonants in a row (and that doesn’t end in .com), you might be putting yourself at risk.
As a rule of thumb, always try to download files from trusted websites.
8. Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi without a VPN
Local café and hotels usually, have free public Wi-Fi that are not secure. Anyone could be spying on you. The basic solution here is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which essentially encrypt data between your PC and the internet.Avoid using free VPN services, go for the paid versions, it is worth it.
9. Beware of browser extensions and plugins
Extensions are in-browser apps that can display news headlines are good but some are malicious.
An extension called iCalc was uncovered some time ago as a free calculator but was actually a tool that could read everything you were typing online.
Make sure you’re familiar with all the installed plugins and Extensions
10. Practice Safe Surfing & Shopping.
keeping your computer safe on the internet When shopping or visiting is very crucial.
Always make sure that the site’s address starts with “https”, instead of just “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field and it’s a trusted website ( backlink to above)
This indicates that the website is secure and uses encryption.
Note: Not all websites need the above verification, but if you have to do a sensitive transaction online, make sure this basic security concern is respected.
No computer can be 100% safe on the internet but if you strictly apply these basic tips above on how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses, you will be doing yourself a big favor.