How to Protect Your Computer from Viruses and Malware

The damage caused to a computer system by virus infection is not very different from what a virus infection can do to a human body.

And the similarity does not end there—as in the case of the human body if the infection is not treated or tackled quickly, it can result in severe consequences. To combat the threat, it is necessary to follow a set of do’s and don’ts to avoid being struck by a virus attack. The ideal situation is if you can protect your computer system from being affected by a virus in the first place.

Read on for more details to know How to Protect Your Computer from Viruses.

Internal and External Protection

If you are using a PC or laptop running on the Windows operating system, then there is a built-in firewall that has to be kept on. If you or someone using your system has switched the firewall off, the system will keep warning you that the firewall protection feature has been switched off. It will give you the option to go to a page where you can restore the protection.

The other internal assistance you will receive is through the updates that Microsoft releases from time to time. There are two ways these updates are downloaded to keep Windows updated: one is to leave a standing instruction to automatically download and install all updates.

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The only aspect to be kept in view here is the type of connectivity you have, through which your computer is connected to the internet. If it is Wi-Fi throughout, then it is not a major issue. If it is any other method where the data your system consumes gets charged, it is better to choose the manual updates option.

Here, Windows will notify you when updates are available and seek your permission to install them. Depending on how busy you are, you can allow the updates to be auto-installed. This ensures that the software on your system remains up-to-date.

Antivirus Packages

While the Windows firewall and updates do have their significance in the overall computer protection ecosystem, the hackers and criminal elements who precipitate attacks can break through these firewalls, and the malware that these hackers develop can only be tackled by a more powerful antivirus software package.

Choosing the right antivirus program for your computer is a task that might require some Googling, but there are plenty of options available on the market today. There are both free antivirus programs and programs that require a paid subscription for you to access all features.

The internet poses the highest security threat to any computer, and starting with a reliable connectivity, you will need to be on alert so that the protection is complete and unyielding. To achieve this, there has to be a regular run of antivirus scans on your computer. One way of doing this is to schedule the scans; one quick scan each week and a thorough scan every month. The providers of the antivirus packages also regularly update their software and will provide users with the notifications to update the programs periodically. This is essential since they will have a team keeping a close eye on the kind of malware being developed by the hackers and finding the solution each threat as soon as they can.

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Self-Discipline Needed on the Part of the User

As the computer user, you hold a lot in your hands in ensuring that your device stays protected from possible virus attacks. A huge number of cyber attacks are mounted through malicious attachments to emails—a hacking technique called phishing. You should therefore be extra-careful while opening emails.

The first rule here is don’t open an email if it appears to be from a suspicious sender or an email address you have never seen before. Hackers use social engineering tactics, such as attractive subject lines, to compel you to open malware-ridden messages and files.

The more important security measure is to ensure that you don’t click on the attachment at all. However luring it may appear to you, just don’t click on the attachment or download it.

While browsing the internet, too, there are many sites that have dangerous snares sitting on their pages. If you even mistakenly click on these dangerous links, they can spell disaster for your computer. It must be mentioned that if your antivirus package is good enough, it will prevent the download from happening. On rare occasions, the malware could be more powerful.

The other precaution to be exercised is to avoid downloading anything from the online resources unless you are absolutely sure that it would cause no harm or is not carrying any virus. The system would prompt you to check if you can get the same web-based file you are downloading from a browser app store itself (such as Chrome Web Store, Firefox Add-Ons or Safari Extensions) where its security is confirmed.

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Whenever you create any passwords, take care of making them as difficult to crack as possible. There is support available online by choosing the best passwords programs, such as Dashlane or LastPass, will even do it for you. After having created the password, you may decide to change it periodically so that your computer stays protected.

Be Cautious While Using External Storage Disks

The use of external storage devices on your computer can be a source of a virus if it is not properly protected. It is essential that you run a scan of the device on your computer using the antivirus program installed before you download any file or data from the storage device.

Ultimately, the safety of your computer is largely in your own hands. If you have a lot of important information like bank accounts passwords or certain confidential data that should not reach other people’s possession, then you should consider storing much of that information on the cloud.

These places are much more difficult for hackers to reach. In addition, even if your computer were to be infected with a virus, your data residing on the cloud will not likely be affected.

If you got any tips or tricks on how to protect your computer from viruses and malware than do let me know by commenting below!