The internet is growing everyday. New devices like computers are connected every hour. More and more services are moving to the online world. Now you can even order pizza online or do your spring shopping using your computer. Buying things online means that we have to use money and that we have to use our credit card information or other money management services. But is this safe? Not at all! The internet is just like the real world populated with criminals who would like to steal your data! In this article I will show you how to secure your computer.
Secure Your System
The first layer of protection you will need is an antivirus. An antivirus is a program that prevents detects and removes malware from your PC. If you want to have professional security than Norton Antivirus is your best bet. But if you can’t spend the money on it I would recommend Avast. When you have your antivirus installed, just run a virus scan to make sure you aren’t infected.
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After installing an antivirus you could install a firewall. A firewall is a program that controls the incoming and outgoing connections, scans the data packages and determines if it is a safe connection or not. My choice is Comodo Firewall. It’s free and quite effective.
My next tip is going to be: keep your computer updated. Updates are made to improve the security. From the moment a software producent finds a security hole they will try to patch it and release an update. Don’t only update your operating system but also frequently update your antivirus. The best way to be up to date is to enable ‘automatic updates’.
Another way to secure your computer is to Secure Your Local Network.
Believe it or not but the the most exploited weak spot in computer protection is the person behind the computer. If you are careless and do what you want without thinking about the consequences you can end up like a relative of mine: he woke up one day just to find out that his financial data was stolen and his bank account was plundered. After scanning his computer I found several viruses. Even when he had his anti-virus on all the time. Here are some tips.
Do not click ads. Don’t get me wrong, there are ads like you see around this webpage that are safe. But you should avoid ads like those where you have to shoot things or those with half-naked females on them. One single click can infect your computer.
Delete unknown emails and don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. A lot of emails can contain malicious links or little programs that can steal your data or place virus dropper. Although virus spreading through e-mails is less popular than it used to be, you still have to be careful.
Only install trusted software. Use software from the vendors site and don’t install any illegally downloaded programs. These are most of the time infected. Also if you are installing a program pay attention to your screen and don’t just keep clicking ‘next’. If you see that the installer is asking you to install some other extra software check it first. This will help you to keep out a lot of spyware.
Use complex passwords. Passwords are most of the time the only layer of security between us and our accounts. A common 6 characters, only lowercase password can be cracked in around an hour or less. (Especially if it is a dictionary word). Try to mix lower and uppercase letters, add a few numbers and maybe a special character. Also don’t use words that are giving away private information. If you have a son named William and your year of birth is 1978, don’t use a password like ‘William78’. If someone searches your Facebook profile for 5 minutes they can find this information.
Last but not least, if you don’t use your computer for an extended period of time just turn it off. This will save you money and it is better for your electricity bill plus it minimizes the risk of getting hacked while you are away from your desk.
These tips will help you to protect against internet attacks, hacks and viruses. So keep these things in mind while you are online and hopefully you won’t get hacked. There is no way to be 100% secure but with these tips you reduce the risk dramatically.