One of the best benefits of high-speed internet is the ability to instantly watch streaming videos, read articles, and download information. Unfortunately, internet speed and overall computer performance can be compromised when the hard drive is overloaded with malware and viruses.
There are many security measures you can take to minimize the risk of viruses, spyware, and malware entering your computer. Likewise, there are steps you can take to get rid of them after the infection has already occurred.
Knowing the types of online threats and strategies to counter them can help you establish strong digital security at home. Here are user tips to help you protect your computer from viruses, malware, and spyware while you are online.
Install and update software
There are all sorts of malware out there waiting for unsuspecting users. This is why installing antivirus software and firewall software is so important. Antivirus software removes malware that corrupts data and slows down your computer’s performance.
Spyware allows hackers to track your activities even when you are offline. They can use this access to steal personal information, which can be used for blackmail, identity theft, and fraud.
Often, viruses and spyware are packaged with legitimate software or disguised as another type of software, which forces unsuspecting users to download malicious code onto their computers.
Antivirus software helps protect your computer from viruses by scanning your computer for traces of their activity.
Takeaway: Update your antivirus applications regularly to make sure your PC is one step ahead of the latest online threats.
Take a close look at email attachments
Often, the danger comes from the most familiar places on the Internet, such as mailboxes, where you are most at risk of being infected with malware or spyware. Computer viruses are often spread as attachments in e-mail messages, according to Microsoft.
As a result, you have to be incredibly careful when clicking on links or attachments in emails. Choosing the wrong file can cause your computer to crash systematically in just a few minutes. It is often very difficult to distinguish fake links from real ones.
Also, keep a close eye on attachments sent by friends and family. Even if the source of the email is trustworthy, it is difficult to determine if the sender has a virus on their computer. Opening attachments can expose your computer to a long list of potential threats.
Takeaway: Beware of links and email attachments, regardless of the sender. Also, consider using cloud-based file sharing apps if you need to share files with friends or colleagues.
Use complex and unique passwords
Your network is as secure as the passwords you use. Make sure you follow the password recommendations on each device. For example, avoid easy-to-access information such as birthdays and addresses, letter or number patterns, and all lower- or upper-case passwords. Most importantly, don’t use passwords for different accounts. If you find it difficult to remember all of them, a good password manager will only allow you to remember one of them.
Takeaway: Use strong unique passwords without public information for every account that accesses your internet connection.
Protect the rest of your network
It’s not enough to focus solely on your computer. Every device connected to your high-speed internet service must be protected by a firewall or antivirus. Plus, encrypt your Wi-Fi signal to prevent hacker intrusions and connect neighbors for free.
These steps will help keep your computer and other connected devices safe from virus infections or hacks. Likewise, this approach will prevent other connected equipment from killing one virus if a piece of malicious code moves from the computer to other devices on the network.
Conclusion: Protect your devices with antivirus software and encryption.
Share these tips with your family
Ultimately, it takes a concerted effort to protect the family computer from devastating intrusions. You will need to share online safety tips with every family member if you want your computer to be virus and spyware free.
It takes just one mistake or wrong click to expose the network to a dangerous piece of malware, and an infection could put your identity and more at serious risk. The entire family must approach Internet safety with a renewed emphasis on maintaining a healthy, virus-free network.
By following these computer security tips, you can keep your network clean and avoid the cost of repairing and restoring a damaged hard drive. Plus, preventing performance-impairing infections will ensure you get the most out of your high-speed Internet connection. Just a few right clicks instead of wrong clicks are all it takes to keep your computer secure.