When our computers start to slow down and behave differently than they normally world, we often fear this means that they have been infected by some sort of virus. While this could be the case, it could also be some sort of malware malfunction. Some are meticulous, and others are just a mild annoyance. There are some things you can do to help keep your hardware safe from those nasty malware infections.
- Install Anti-Virus/Malware Software. This may seem like a no-brainer to some people, but others have no idea how to go about protecting their tech. There are many people out there that don’t take this precaution, especially when it comes to home computers. This is an essential first step in staying protected. You may only want to install free software. While this is better than nothing, it’s important to know that it isn’t the best solution there is.
- Keep Your Anti-Virus Software Up to Date. If installing software is the first step, maintaining that software is the second. This means being diligent in checking to make sure that don’t miss an update. While most anti-virus software check for updates on their own on a regular basis, not all do.
- Run Regular Scans with Your Software. Many of us forget to do that once we have the software in place, which makes it unable to be as effective as it should be. It is preferable to run this software at least once a week to work efficiently.
- Keep Your Operating System Current. Whatever system you are using; it is important to keep it up to date. This may not seem like it is connected to malware, but it is. There are always security patches issued be developers that fix security leaks and issues with your systems.
- Secure Your Network. Many of us connect our computer to our files, printers, or the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection. You should require a password to access your Wi-Fi instead of keeping it unlocked to keep all of those things secure. It’s also a good idea to make that password strong by adding lower case and capital letters, special characters, and numbers.
- Think Before You Click. Don’t just click any random website or button that pops up on your screen, especially websites that provide pirated material. Do not open emails from people you don’t know. If you download a file from the internet, an email, a file-sharing device, or whatever, scan it before you decide to download it. If you have a good anti-virus software it will do it for you, but you should make sure that is it getting done so you don’t download a virus.
- Keep Your Personal Information Safe. This is one of the more difficult things you can do with the presence of the internet. Hackers can access your files through sheer power of will to get the things that they want. Use all the available privacy settings that your computer has to offer to your advantage.
- Back Up Your Files. The best thing you can do is to back up all the files that you have. It is ideal to have these files in at least three different places: the place where you work on them, a storage device, and an off-site location. You could simply get two different external hard drives and keep one outside of your home.
- Use Multiple Strong Passwords. Never use the same password on anything, especially your bank account. Most of us use the same email or username for all of our active accounts. That makes them easier to see and steal. Keep these passwords easy for you to remember but difficult to guess. Do not use pet names or important dates.
There are plenty of things you can do to make sure that your computer isn’t infected by malware or viruses, some being more effective than others. While it may seem like a lot of work to do, it protects you from losing important information.