Anyone who has had some malware or computer virus knows it is annoying, frustrating, and time-consuming. Most people suspect they have a virus when their computers start behaving unusually or slowing down. It may be it is not a virus, but some a type of malware. Some are annoying, but others are malicious. The worst are those that take over your browser or your computer, at worst. Therefore, it is vital to know how to prevent malware from infecting your computer with the tips below.
- Think before you click
To be safe from malicious software, avoid websites that have pirated material. Do not open emails or links from someone you do not know. If it is an unsolicited email, do not click on the link. Before you click, hover over a link more so those with a URL shortener. Also, use The Pirate Bay legitimate site for your online streaming, for others could contain malware. If you need to download a file from the internet, an FTP site, an email, or a file-sharing service, scan it before you run it. Having a good antivirus will do this automatically, but you need to confirm it is working.
- Use various strong passwords
Everything you do online requires a strong password. For instance, your bank account should not have the same password. Many individuals use the same username and email address for all their accounts. Unfortunately, these are easy to steal and see. So, if you use the same password for many things or everything, once they discover it, in a few seconds, they can hack your account. Use strong passwords. Use uppercase, lower case, symbols, numbers as you create your password. It should be difficult to guess but easy to remember. Avoid using pet names or dates.
- Run scans with your antivirus software regularly
Many people forget or assume to do this, yet it is a no-brainer. So, set up your software of choice to run at intervals often. Once weekly is preferred, but you should not wait longer between scans. While your antivirus software is running, it is a challenge to work on your computer. Therefore, run the software at night when you are not using your PC. But, most people turn off the PCs at night, and the scan never runs. To make it easier for you, set your antivirus software to run on a particular night, and leave your computer running on that night. Importantly, ensure it does not go into hibernation mode or shut off automatically.
- Install antivirus software and keep it up to date
This tip to prevent malware is an obvious one. But most computers, especially home computers, do not have any antivirus or malware protection. Notably, ensure you keep the antivirus up to date, for this is a maintenance step. Also, it is better to have free antivirus software than none at all. But it is not the best solution. Microsoft has a free security package. As long as you have windows on your computer, you gain access. But, most users do not know this program, yet its decent protection.
- Back up your files
Always back up all of your files. Ideally, most people have their data in at least three places, on separate storage, where you work on them and offsite. Keep your files or data on your computer and use an external hard drive to back up, after back up in a different location. You can get external hard drives for this backup and keep one at a safety deposit box, or a relative’s house, or you can use a backup service.
- Keep your personal information safe
One of the most difficult things to do on the internet is to keep your personal information safe. Most hackers access your files through social engineering and not brute force. Hackers get enough information and can gain access to your online account and obtain more of your data. This continues until they have enough of your information, and they can access your banking files or even steal your identity. Thus, be cautious on social media and message boards and avoid using your real identity on discussion boards.