Even in this age of hacking, viruses, malware and all other online hazards, you can still keep your computer protected. And you know what? It doesn’t take an expert to do so. Here are a few simple tips to keep your computer protected from viruses.
Tip #1: Install an antivirus
First things first: you should install an antivirus in your computer. You can purchase one, whether through the Web or at a shop, but support and updates for it are typically good for only a year. However, while updates last, these premium antiviruses provide really effective protection for your computer. Good examples include Webroot Secure Anywhere and Norton Antivirus.
You can also get a free antivirus, and depending on your choice, they can perform satisfactorily. The two best free antiviruses right now are Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast. Whatever your choice, get an antivirus that has real-time protection. As an added measure, it would also be helpful if your antivirus came with other malware removal programs to keep spyware, adware and pop-ups out of your computer.
Tip #2: Put up a firewall
For the uninitiated, a firewall secures your network from any unauthorised access. It doesn’t matter if it’s hardware- or software-based, as long as you set one up. If you’re using Windows or OS X, then you already have a firewall that came with your operating system. All you have to do is activate it. The Windows firewall is in the security section of the Control Panel, while OS X is under Security in System Prefs.
Tip #3: Update your computer regularly
Usually, viruses and other malware are made to exploit holes in the operating system. Because of this, it’s important to keep your computer updated regularly so that these security holes are plugged. Windows, for instance, has a Windows Update feature that lets you automatically update your OS. Make sure that you also update other programs used by your computer, including Flash, Java, Microsoft Office (there are occasional vulnerabilities here) and most especially your internet browser.
Tip #4: Never open suspicious e-mails
If you received an e-mail from someone you don’t know and it came with an attachment, there’s a really good chance it’s a virus. If you received an e-mail from someone you do know and it seems suspiciously unlike them (e.g. the text is weird, or there’s no text at all), it might have a virus as well. The e-mail could be spoofed (i.e. fake) or your friend’s account was hacked. Either way, the lesson here is that if the e-mail looks fishy, don’t open it.
Tip #5: Stay away from questionable sites
Having an antivirus, firewall, and regular updates on your computer doesn’t mean it’s immune from viruses and all sorts of malware. Hackers use all sorts of tricks to infect your machine, and many of these are from questionable websites like those that offer hacks and “free” paid software. Of course, not all these programs have malware but there’s no way to tell but to try them. By the time you find out, your machine is already infected. So to keep your computer clean of malware, stay away from these sites completely. You should download only from trusted websites.
About the Author:
This article was written by Michael. Michael is a computer technician and has worked in the industry for many years. He has also written many useful articles dealing with PC FAQ’s and computer repairs.