Ways to Prevent Getting A Computer Virus

Everyone has become more reliant on digital technology and surfing the web. It’s where people work, study, socialize and find entertainment. However, it’s not just humans going onto the internet, but devices as well, as in the Internet of Things. The internet is a world filled with many treasures that make life better. Still, it also has dangerous hackers and viruses.

Ways to Prevent Getting A Computer Virus

Considering the sensitivity of the data exchanged on the internet, bad actors are a severe concern. However, it’s better to play it safe than be sorry when it comes to protecting your personal information and finances. Not everyone has your best interests at heart.

Financial Information is What Hackers are After

The ultimate goal for hackers is to make money. To do that, they will need your personal information to gain access to your finances. This could be through credit card fraud, accessing internet banking facilities, or your online shopping accounts.

Hackers are knowledgeable and use sophisticated tools to carry out their attacks. Still, it is usually not beneficial to target a specific individual. So if you make it hard to access your information, then you will be safe. You can use the following tips to stay clear of hackers and keep your financial information safe online.

Don’t look up your bank account or other financial account balances on public WiFi or a public computer (like those in libraries). Those are easy to hack, usually unprotected, and offer an easy dragnet for hackers to attack. It’s literally like shooting fish in a barrel for hackers; they simply sit down and wait for unsuspecting users.

Don’t buy anything on a site without an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate ensures that you interact with the right website, i.e., the website is who they say they are. It also encrypts the data that you and the website exchange. With an SSL certificate, you will be safe from phishing scams, snooping, data theft, and alteration. Any self-respecting organization will have an SSL certificate no matter the industry, so a website without one is a clear red flag. An SSL certificate is depicted by a locked padlock right next to the URL.

If you are reckless with your financial information, you can compromise your accounts and potentially lose money. On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to catch the incident early, you may save your money. Still, you will have to go through the hassle of resetting your financial accounts and credentials.

Viruses and Malware Are Tricky

Viruses and malware can be dangerous to your computers and, ultimately, your life. They can come in many forms but are most commonly worms or Trojan Horses. Their purpose is to delete, alter, corrupt, or steal personal and business information. A worm is a virus that can spread from computer to computer without human interaction, and Trojan Horses enter your system under the guise of a legitimate, safe program. But, at the same time, it carries out a malicious attack in the background.

A virus typically enters your system through an action that you take. For example, it could be an email attachment you open, a program that you install, or a device that you have connected. Viruses and malware are intelligent; they cannot only act without you knowing, but they can avoid detection.

Viruses and malware are sadly common and come in varying degrees of sophistication. So, anyone, even the techies, encounters malicious software, despite their best efforts. If you do, you should immediately take your device to a professional who knows how to remove and prevent computer viruses. They will also have the tools and skills to detect, isolate and eliminate the threat.

Keep Your Software Updated

Computer operating systems and apps you use usually have regular updates with patches. Patches are new versions to do things that make your device work better and increase your online security, like

  • Fix bugs
  • Optimize performance
  • Protect against vulnerabilities to viruses, malware, etc.
  • New features that can help monitor your activity.

Both your operating system and programs have settings that let you automatically update once one is available. But suppose you are concerned about data usage, computer speed, or reading up on the updates first. In that case, you can select an option that will only send a notification once an update is available. If you choose these options, you will never have to worry if your software is at risk.

Protect Your Passwords

Passwords are the key to the best parts of the internet and your private information. Therefore, it is essential to keep them safe. If hackers get your password, they can steal your data or lock you out of your account.

Hackers can use a brute force attack to guess your password. A brute force attack is when a hacker attempts as many passwords as possible to get the right one. If you have a weak password, this can take minutes to accomplish. But a strong password is near impossible to hack by brute force. To create a strong password, you need to use special characters, numbers, letters (capitals and lowercase) and randomize them.

Creating and remembering all your passwords can become tedious. Fortunately, there are password managers to help you with that. Password managers can create strong passwords and keep them secure for you. In addition, you will only need to remember one password to open the password manager.

Safe Surfing

Computers are handy machines, especially when you connect them to the internet. However, to truly enjoy the experience, make sure you don’t compromise your personal information. Installing antivirus software will keep your computer and network safe. After that, you only have to actively guard against making a mistake and exposing yourself to hackers.


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