The majority of Internet security risk factors can be controlled with the right tools, the right attitude (a willingness to learn and apply the necessary strategies), and the desire to become proactive versus reactive. Keeping your computer free from badware, malware, botnets, viruses, adware, and a host of other nasties plays an important role in extending some decent net etiquette.
If you think of surfing the web as an Interstate and the computers that frequent the web as vehicles – driving a stable vehicle on the Interstate is integral to highway safety. Would you feel safer driving next to a car that is well maintained with a current safety inspection sticker intact, or would you feel safer driving next to that dilapidated hunk-of-junk with four bald tires and no safety inspection sticker?
10 Ways To Protect Your PC
Though this is one of the most neglected areas of computer maintenance, it is essential to have a clean back-up source if your system has a hard disk failure (crashes) or your data and system files become compromised by a virus.
2-Use strong passwords: Check your password at Microsoft, is it strong?
A weak password such as 123456, password, abc123, or using your first name or pet’s name as your password is the Achilles heel of online security. Passwords are your first line of defense against cybercriminals. Create complex passwords for each site (do not share the same password at multiple sites), change them frequently and create accounts at sites that use good encryption.
3-Use a firewall: What is a firewall?
A firewall is a barrier that can keep destructive forces (hackers, malicious software) from the Internet away from your computer.It can also stop your computer from sending malicious programs to other computers.
4-Use Anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
New viruses and malware is created everyday, so it is important that you keep your definitions updated.
5-Use a reputable malware scanner. Malwarebytes is highly recommended.
6-Don’t use an administrative account to browse the web
Create a new user account with limited rights to surf the web. Since malware requires administrative rights to run on the system – using a nonadministrative account will not enable malicious software to install on your system.
7-Keep your PC operating systems and programs updated. Secunia PSI is an excellent [Free] option that keeps third-party software updated.
Windows Vista and Windows 7
To turn on Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:
- Click Start, type Windows update in the search box, and then click Windows Update in the Programs list.
- In the left pane, click Change settings.
- Select the option that you want.
- Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates or Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box, and then click OK. –Microsoft Support
8-Never download pirated software
According to The Dangerous world of Counterfeit and Pirated Software, pirated and counterfeit software (i.e. unlicensed software and bogus software pretending to be genuine) has become one of the most reliable fast-tracks to the risk of malware infection. –NetworkWorld
9-Be responsible with social networking sites.
Social networking sites are rife with rogue apps and Internet scammers that often prey on user’s to spread their wares via permissions granted by the user. With a little education anyone can stay on top of the bad stuff and have a better Internet experience overall.
10-Use a layered approach when surfing the web.
As an example of using a layered approach: You would use a Internet Security Suite to take care of your antivirus needs, an anti-malware product installed such as Malwarebytes, Secunia PSI to check for vulnerabilities, a link scanner like McAfee SiteAdvisor and use Cocoon to anonymize and protect your web browsing sessions.
“Layered security is about multiple types of security measures, each protecting against a different vector for attack.” — Chad Perrin, TechRepublic
When you browse the web it is easy to land on an unsavory site or get hit by a drive-by-download. Today, the virtual threat landscape needs more protection than an antivirus suite or antimalware application. Many exploits utilize 3rd party browser plugins (Flash, Adobe Reader) and if your operating system or browser has a vulnerability – it can easily become an open door that invites hackers in.
By following the above 10 tips, you will be able to minimize the impact that hackers and malicious software can have on your PC.