If you own a computer, you’ve likely had to deal with computer viruses or malware. While a virus invasion is not the worst thing that can happen to your PC, it can cause havoc and spread fast through a network. Eventually, they might compromise confidential information stored in your computer or make using your gadget highly inconvenient. The easiest way of protecting your data and securing your PC is by preventing virus attacks, and here’s how you can do it.
1. Update Your Computer
Operating system developers are always sending updates to improve the software’s features and also increase security patches. Although these updates might seem too many to keep up with, you will be doing your device some justice by installing them. It is advisable to enable automatic updates for your operating system. However, take care when running updates for other programs because some might be unnecessary.
2. Use An Anti-Virus/ Malware Software
While this goes without saying, not everyone appreciates the value of anti-virus software. The protection you get from such software is unmatched, and it is a critical step in keeping your PC virus-free. You may also solicit the services of OT security companies, especially for large organizations or for a network of devices. Besides installing protection software, one should maintain it by keeping the software up to date.
3. Run Scheduled Scans
A simple way of protecting your device is to set up regular anti-virus scans on your device. Doing so once a week is a great idea, but don’t wait for too much time before running the next one. Since working on your PC while running anti-virus software is a lot of work, consider scheduling the scan when you aren’t using your device. For instance, you can schedule a scan at night and leave the PC on during that time.
4. Practice Some Anti-Virus Basics
The most basic protection you can ensure on your PC is using strong passwords. Avoid common combinations such as “password” or “12345678”. If you go for obvious passcodes like your date of birth or your pet’s name, you are setting yourself up for failure. Secure your data by creating unique, complex passwords that are hard to guess. The best combinations have a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters. Always aim for a code that is at least ten characters long. While on the issue of passwords, avoid using the same password-username combination across several sites. If a hacker manages to access one code, they are likely to acquire all your data.
5. Stay Clear Of Questionable Websites
With over two billion websites globally, it’s expected that not all of them will have the best intentions. The bad ones are a severe cyber threat and might wreak havoc. Malicious sites usually host tools to download viruses to your devices, like malicious adverts, misleading links, and drive-by downloads. Avoid visiting websites with suspicious names like a blend of numbers and letters that don’t make sense. Also, look out for sites that use the names of trusted brands but have a different URL because the chances are that they are fake.
6. Avoid Pirated Software
Getting a free copy of a movie, application, or game might be tempting, but it could cost you heavily. If you download an illegal or cracked version of the software, your device might be at risk. Pirated software originates from hard-to-find websites or peer-to-peer sharing, where some users might be genuine while others are looking to spread a PC virus.
7. Secure Your Network
If you don’t use Wi-Fi, you probably use your computer to print files on a shared printer. While this is great, the possibility of spreading viruses on a shared network is very high. Always use passwords to secure the connection and never broadcast an open Wi-Fi connection. If you usually have guests using your internet, create a guest SSID using a different password to protect your devices.
8. Back Up Your Computer
You may have done everything to secure your PC, but a virus ends up in your gadgets. When this happens, you need to get the viruses removed, which may result in data loss. In this case, you’ll need to take cautionary measures like backing up your computer. Without a backup strategy, there is no way to recover the lost data. Make backing up data a priority.
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, making everyone vulnerable to such attacks. That is why you should always have a virus minimization strategy to protect yourself and your devices.