Before and especially since the inception of the internet, there have been a select few that have set out to ruin it for the rest of us. Hell bent on destroying and disrupting things through a myriad of viruses, Trojans, malware, spyware and just general maliciousness. Thankfully as time has progressed computers and software have become better at protecting themselves against the threat of virtual attack. However it is up to you to call on these safety mechanisms, and this is what this article is going to discuss. In simple terms we are going to discuss, how to keep your computer protected from the big bad digital world out there.
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This first one should really be a no-brainer, to the extent that I even thought twice about writing this short section on it. But as I have come to understand, there are people that don’t have antivirus software on their computers and then wonder why they have been hit with malicious files that have rendered their computers almost useless. So why do I need antivirus?, is a question that most without it, ask. Well, antivirus software has a constantly updating database of malicious files and will thus identify and prevent one from attacking your computer, additionally you can also run routine scans to make sure your computer is running in tip top shape, and is fully protected.
So, If you want to protect your computer, you absolutely must have antivirus software, it just isn’t even an option. The option does arise however, when you have to choose which antivirus software to purchase. Contrary to popular opinion Norton and MacAfee are not the only ways to go, and in some cases aren’t even a good option. There are some really good sub $25 antivirus packages out there that are as good as, if not better than the ones mentioned above. And there are also a growing number of freeware antivirus packages, for those of you really on a budget. There really is no excuse now.
Anti spyware and malware.
Anti-virus software is no longer enough though. Over the last 5-7 years there has been a shift to more spyware and malware. These files are more cleverly disguised and appear less harmful on the surface so a number of antivirus software’s don’t detect them. The main aim of them is to cause an annoyance and disruption to your computer, as opposed to damage it in the more serious ways a worm or virus would. However its intentions can be considered more harmful. Once spyware has infected your computer, it can monitor your activity and send critically private information to hackers. In extreme cases they can use this information to gain access to bank accounts and to bill you with items you never really paid for. The best way to protect yourself from these more persistent pests is a good antispyware and malware software. Spyware Doctor is one of the leading names in this industry.
In addition to the above a firewall is essential to keep your computer protected online. Most antivirus or antispyware software’s already come with firewalls built in, but in case they don’t it is important you get hold of some firewall software. A firewall monitors and seeks permission from you for all the data going in and out of your computer. Most operating systems come with a firewall built in. But some find that this built in firewall is not as strong or as effective enough as some of the paid equivalents, so it is something that is worth looking into.
Updates, browsers and passwords
This section will cover some more general points on security and keeping your computer protected online. The first is updates. I know this is a really simple point. However I’m sure at some point you’ve seen a long update due and you’ve postponed it. Don’t do this. The more your laptop or computer falls behind with windows updates the more vulnerable it is going to be to attack. So update regularly. This one tip alone could reduce the potential of attack by a considerable amount.
My second major general point relates to browsers. Nowadays a lot of the protection is built into internet browsers, and if you have your browsers constantly up to date, they will be able to stop more malicious activity before it even hits your computer. So it is incredibly important to keep your browsers up to date. Be that Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. My final point, relates to passwords. Make sure you always set long passwords with a mixture of number of letters for added security and protection. Select weak passwords and brute force malicious software will crack them and gain access to your precious information.
That concludes my article on the main way to protect your computer. We’ve covered anti-virus, anti-malware and spyware as well as updates, browsers and passwords. Remember to avoid the temptation of being lazy and leaving that virus scan or update to another day. You may find, “another day” is too late. I look forward to hearing your comments, and hearing what you have got to say on the topic of computer protection.