There’s no shortage of active threats to your cybersecurity – and viruses are among the most potent. Although software developers and operating system manufacturers have come a long way in combating viruses, it can’t be denied that they still represent a very real danger to every internet user. Needless to say, if a virus finds its way onto your home computer, the consequences can be far-reaching. Everything from data theft to system failure is on the table, so if you’ve yet to beef up your digital defenses, now would be the perfect time to start.
Install High-Quality Antivirus Software
These days, a disturbing number of people think that they no longer need dedicated antivirus software. Since modern-day operating systems are equipped with a plethora of antivirus and security features, misguided individuals tend to view specialized antivirus software as a thing of the past. However, with the number of harmful viruses seemingly increasing by the day, it could be argued that there’s never been a more crucial time to invest in high-quality antivirus software.
Rather than view the security features built into your O.S. as a substitute for dedicated antivirus software, you should regard them as a complement to said software. Good antivirus software can work hand-in-hand with your operating system to keep you safe from an ever-increasing array of viruses and other cyberthreats. So, if your computer is currently without dedicated antivirus software, take care to correct this on the double.
Staying Current with System Updates
Many of us have an unfortunate habit of sitting on system updates and allowing them to pile up. Since taking the time to install them often entails having to stop whatever we’re doing on our computers, we tend to place system updates on the backburner without so much as a second thought.
However, a fair number of these updates are more important than you may think. In fact, many updates are designed to combat newly-emerged viruses and other digital dangers. This means that the longer you wait to install certain updates, the more vulnerable your computer is to the threats they were created to fight.
So, the next time you receive an update notification from your operating system or any of the programs you use, carry out the installation process without delay. This may entail having to stop what you’re doing and restart your computer, but this minor inconvenience is worth the enhanced security your computer will enjoy. If you can’t trust yourself to manually install updates as they become available, consider enabling automatic updates, thereby taking yourself out of the equation.
Run Regular Virus Scans
Running regular virus scans can be an effective way to spot and eradicate any viruses that have materialized on your computer before they have a chance to truly take hold. This can be done through your operating system or dedicated antivirus software. For good measure, however, you may want to consider running separate scans: one through your O.S. and one through your antivirus software.
In many cases, virus scans won’t interfere with your activities on the computer and can comfortably be carried out in the background. You can either run these scans manually or schedule them to take place at a convenient time. In the interest of thoroughness, schedule at least one system-wide scan per day.
Exercise Caution with Emails
One of the most effective ways to avoid viruses is also one of the easiest – exercising caution with emails. For starters, make a point of ignoring messages from unknown and/or suspicious senders. Secondly, abstain from opening any attachments found in emails from people you don’t know. Even if an email claims to be from a friend, family member or coworker, avoid clicking any links or opening any attachments if anything about the message seems off, as there’s a chance that a third party got a hold of your contacts list.
Even with all the advances in cybersecurity that have been made over the last decade, viruses continue to present a prevalent threat to all computers – and indeed, all internet-enabled devices. So, whether you’ve been repeatedly victimized by viruses in the past or you’ve been lucky enough to never deal with one, protecting your computer from viruses should be high atop your list of priorities. Fortunately, with the tips outlined above at your disposal, keeping your PC virus-free should be well within your abilities.
Install a Popup Blocker
As you go about your daily online life, many attacks happen through your browser. Hackers can get into your computer with just one click on the wrong ad or link. It would be best to have an ad or popup blocker to keep your computer’s data safe. It will stop any pages from opening automatically that you don’t want to.
Never click on, open, or download something if you don’t know who sent it. This is very important when it comes to emails.
Surf Internet Carefully
Most of the time, the viruses come from the Internet. So, you must use a secure network to surf the Internet. Use “HTTPS” rather than “HTTP” Also, don’t click on unreliable links.