A computer virus is a small software program that spreads from one computer to another computer. Although some viruses are benevolent, others can attack data and seriously affect a computer’s performance. Computer viruses are most easily spread by attachments in e-mail messages. They can be disguised as documents, images, audio and video files.
Threats always exist, for any computer in any part of the world. Viruses of all kinds target computers and would infect them if timely action is not taken.
When our computers start slowing down or behaving in an unusual way, we are often quick to suspect that we have a virus. It might be a virus, but it is likely that you have some sort of malware.
Here are 11 tips on how to prevent viruses and malware from infecting your computer, protecting your PC from online attacks and keeping your hardware safe.
- Installing an Antivirus Software and Performing Regular Updates:
Antivirus Software is the first step towards fighting virus and virus attacks and ensures best virus removal. We need antivirus programs to scan our PC with all its files, to check against any possible threats and to protect our computers from malware coming through the internet. Furthermore, other security updates, such as Windows OS updates should be carried out regularly to ensure they can fight against latest virus threats.
- Creating Strong Passwords:
You must be very careful while creating passwords as it was one of the most critical links to your security chain. A good way to create strong passwords is to come up with passphrases, combination of alphanumeric and special characters to create longer (at least 8 characters) string of letters.
- Be Careful with Email Links:
You should take proactive measures not to click on links or attachments that you don’t trust and have been received from unknown sources. Even though, major email providers help you screen your mails for suspicious files but that does not mean you can click on links that emails from unknown sources without verifying their trustworthiness, no matter how urgent or appealing they might make it sound. Those links can be viruses and opens a link for hackers to take over your computer.
- Use a Firewall and Enhance your Browser’s Privacy Settings:
Using a network firewall can help you lay out security policies and regulate what traffic passes in and out of your network. A very important thing to remember is to keep your firewall program always turned on for real-time threat detection. Moreover, making necessary security adjustments to your web browser’s Privacy Settings ensures a stronger security.
- Use Pop-Up Blocker and adjust your User Account Control:
Always use a pop-up blocker for your browser for experiencing a secure online session. Many pop-ups are spywares and adwares can damage your system. Also, turn on the User Account Control option in your computer so any changes being made in your system requires administrator-level-permission from you.
- Make Sure SmartScreen Filter is turned on:
SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer helps protect you from phishing and malware attacks by warning you if a website or download location has been reported as unsafe.
- Clear Your Internet Cache and your Browsing History:
Most browsers store information about the websites you visit and the info that you provide, such as your name and address. While it can be helpful to have these details stored on your PC, there are times when you might want to delete some or all of them. For example, you don’t want to leave personal information behind when you are using a public PC.
- Back Up Your Computer Regularly:
It is important to perform backups for your valuable information regularly on your computer to ensure protection of your data from hard drive failure to your house burning down. The most common methods for backing up your data is by using an external hard drive, online backup services or cloud storages.
- Avoid Opening Suspicious Websites:
A lot of times, websites will notify you if you are about to enter a website that attempts to install or run a program on your computer. Avoid websites such as those, as it can be a link for viruses to attack your computer and for hackers to take over your PC.
- Use the latest version of your Web Browser:
Web browsers are vital applications, but just like any other software, they can contain bugs. Hackers are quick to capitalize on these and create bogus websites with data designed to exploit them. Once a web browser has been compromised in this way, a hacker can monitor everything you type, including passwords to credit card numbers. That’s why it’s important to use the latest version of your web browser.
- Don’t Use Open Wi-Fi:
When you are at the local coffee shop, library, and especially the airport, don’t use the “free” open (non-password, non-encrypted) Wi-Fi because it can create a link for hackers to enter your PC, steal your personal data and make you a host to your own computer.