It’s a dangerous time for computers. There are constantly new viruses, malware, scams and other threats being created and released into the PC world, and it’s getting harder and harder to protect yourself.
There are almost 1 million new viruses and malware released every day, and with that much it’s impossible to keep up. The only way you can ever be truly safe is to never go on the Internet again. Of course in this day and age that’s just not realistic (or fun).
So what can a person do to keep themselves safe?
- Start with a great anti-virus program
Look for a mainstream, popular program that is more than just an anti-virus. You ideally want something that is anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, etc. And make sure it is updated regularly. An out-of-date program is as bad as not having one at all. We recommend AVG CloudCare, an all-encompassing program we have worked with for several years with great success.
- Keep your Operating System up to date
Windows is notorious for requiring constant patches and updates. These aren’t just to annoy you (although it can feel like that at times!). A good chunk of them repair holes and bugs that may allow viruses, malware, or even hackers to penetrate your system. Others are made to upgrade or add new features to Windows, and some are for your hardware. Either way, it is extremely important to install updates when your computer requests to. Putting it off can leave you vulnerable.
- Update other software too
Windows isn’t the only software frequently asking for updates. Java, Adobe, NVidia, and plenty of others also constantly want updates. These are just as important as the Windows updates, as again, they repair holes and bugs that can leave you vulnerable. Virus makers look for and exploit these holes very quickly, and often know about them long before they are repaired, so we can’t stress enough the importance of taking 5 minutes to run the updates.
- Use caution on the Internet
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of online ads, especially for products that make huge promises like “Lose 5lbs today!” If you receive an email from a sender you don’t know or trust, no matter the subject line, don’t open it. Emails can have viruses and malware attached that are capable of installing themselves just because you clicked on the email. Also, use caution when visiting certain websites. Adult websites, gambling websites, and those weird advertising sites you see everywhere are especially prone to viruses, although any webpage can be infected at any given time.
- Don’t download random things
Viruses and malware quite easily attach themselves to downloaded files, and if you knowingly and willingly download something, your anti-virus program may not stop it, since you essentially did it yourself. Long story short, if you don’t need it or know what it is, DO NOT download it!
Although nothing is 100% guaranteed effective in the computer world, with these tips you can help to prevent viruses from attacking you. And in the event you are affected by a virus, malware, scams, or any other computer issues, contact us to help get you back up and running!
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If you need an anti-virus or suspect your computer is infected, call us today!