As our computers remain constantly connected to the Internet, there is a constant threat of malware attacks, and the need to protect our computers against malware and hacker attacks only continues to grow. Fortunately, there are a number of actionable steps you can take to protect your computer from viruses and malware, and avoid data loss and corruption, and compromising your personal information. By following the simple tips listed below, and by being a vigilant user you can toughen up the security of your computer and keep it safe from future malicious attacks. First however, here is an interesting video that explains differences between Viruses, Worms and Trojans.
First, here is an interesting video that explains differences between Viruses, Worms and Trojans.
1. Install an Antivirus and Antispyware Utility
It cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to have a antivirus program on your computer and how it should be run regularly. Many viruses can remain hidden in the background on computers in order to remain hidden and unnoticed by the computer owners.
Something as simple as downloading a bad email attachment or visiting a malicious website can infect your computer with malicious viruses or spyware. To protect your computer against viruses you need to use antivirus tool. There are many reputable ones to choose from with free plans, and they all should do an adequate job for most computer users. Here are a few top options:
- Panda Free Antivirus 2015
- Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2014)
- Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free
- Qihoo 360 Total Security Essential
- Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ 11
- Avast Free Antivirus 2015
- AVG AntiVirus Free 2015
These tools not only help you prevent virus infection but also help protect against many other malware, such as worms, Trojans, and spyware. Equally as important as installing the antivirus program, you must make sure that it runs on a regular basis to ensure that your system remains free from malware. Once a week is typically fine for most users, but if your computer is experiencing virus problems, you will likely want to run it more frequently. You must also make sure that you update the program to the latest version when possible to ensure you have the latest and greatest version available that is fighting against new and improved computer viruses.
2. Make Sure Your Firewall is On
Your first line of defense to prevent unauthorized access to your computer is your computer's firewall, and it should work well at preventing the majority of virus attacks. You can easily configure your computer's firewall to create different security levels and create rules to define the software programs that you want to allow access to the Internet. Your firewall will also display alerts when an unknown entity tries to access your system and will help you block any unauthorized access.
Make sure your configuration settings are adequate, and never turn off your computer's firewall!
3. Enable Real-time Malware protection
We mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again. You must remember to enable real-time virus and spyware protection on your computer. It is important to keep your antivirus program as up to date as possible so it can help prevent the newest viruses out there. This feature is incorporated with almost all antivirus and antispyware tools available today. With the real-time protection turned on, many malware programs are blocked and removed even before they get on to your system.
4. Increase the Security of Your Browser
It is important to ensure that the tool that we use to access the Internet is as secure as possible. Many of us use browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome that have not been updated in quite some time. Most browsers like Google Chrome have default settings that automatically install updates to your browser, but you may have intentionally or accidentally disabled updates to the browser, or you are not receiving updates for some reason.
As malicious websites become more advanced, browsers also become better at recognizing a bad website in order to send you warnings to not proceed to the website. There are several ways to check to see if your browser is up to date. A simple way is to visit a website like whatismybrowser.com, which can tell you if it is up to date and other important information that affects the performance of your browser.
5. Install Regular Updates and Patches From Your Operating System
To backup, you are likely using something like Windows or iOS as your computer’s operating system, and both send installation updates to your computer that make small tweaks to your computer. While it may be annoying to take the time to install the updates, they are extremely important for maintaining the security of your computer.
Operating systems are complex software programs with millions of lines of coding. Because of this, the chances of small unintentional errors in the programming are quite high. These programming errors can become security vulnerabilities on your operating system, and can be easily exploited by malware programs and hackers. To patch up these vulnerabilities, Microsoft releases regular software updates and security releases. You can enable the Windows Automatic Update feature of your Windows XP and Vista systems to ensure that your computer is always updated with the latest releases.
6. Perform Regular Registry Clean Up
Just like all other programs that are installed on your computer, even malware programs add many entries in the registry. These malicious registry entries not only fill up your registry but may also modify the already existing entries to control the way various applications function on your computer. For instance, they may change the file association of the EXE files, and whenever you try to launch an application, an error will be generated. To ensure that your registry is free from such problems and malicious entries, it is important for you to regularly scan your registry to identify these problems and repair them. You can easily do this with the help of a registry cleaner tool. These tools are easy to use and can help you perform a secure, automatic, and efficient scan and repair of your Windows registry.
To sum up, the most important requirement to protect your computer against malware is to be a vigilant user. Additionally, you must use firewall, antivirus, antispyware, and registry cleaner utilities to protect your computer from harmful malware programs.