Malware is becoming more and more problematic, and it can be tricky to deal with if you don’t know what exactly you’re up against. It doesn’t help that hackers have gotten quite creative these days too, and they’ve come up with various techniques to mask the presence of their nasty programs until it’s too late. Knowing how to protect yourself is not only a good idea, it’s the responsible thing to do if you do any sensitive work with your computer that might put your life at risk.
Use Antivirus Software
This might sound straightforward, but you’d be surprised at how many people still use their computers without any form of active protection. Sure, Windows offers a built-in solution for this nowadays, but it’s hardly enough to keep all possible attacks at bay. If you want to be truly safe, you’ll need to invest in a proper antivirus/antimalware solution from a third party, and use it on top of what you regularly do. Spending money on a premium application might not be a bad idea either, and it can go a long way towards helping you stay safe in the long run.
Keep Software Up To Date
Outdated software is one of the main attack channels used by hackers to get into computers these days, and if you’re not paying attention to the programs on your own machine, you are risking a lot. Those constant pop-ups reminding you that your browser is out of date are there for a reason, and ignoring them can quickly lead to disaster. What’s even worse is that some people actually ignore these prompts from their antivirus programs themselves, despite having spent money on the application in the past. It doesn’t make much sense to invest in a tool that you never use, so be responsible.
Visit Websites Carefully
Getting malware frequently happens when you visit a malicious site that poses as another one that you might be a frequent user of. Pay attention to the addresses of the sites you’re visiting, especially if you got to them through an external link and not by typing in the address yourself. This goes double for links you’ve received in e-mail and other forms of communication. Even if you know and trust the person who sent you the link, you don’t know when someone’s account may have gotten compromised and is being used by an attacker to spread their malware!
Don’t Work Online All The Time
This may be difficult for some people, depending on their line of work and other life factors, but if you can change your workflow in a way that doesn’t force you to be online all the time, this can improve your security a lot. The mere fact that you’re connected to the Internet already puts you at risk whether you take any specific actions or not, and while it can be challenging to work offline, if you can do it even in separate periods this can still improve your situation quite a lot. And you never know, you might just find out that you actually enjoy the solitude that this provides you with.
Don’t Use Pirated Software
This tip is pretty old at this point, and yet many people choose to ignore it on a regular basis. Hackers frequently rely on sites that distribute pirated software to spread their viruses. If it’s a popular tool and has been downloaded by many people, chances are that it’s an attractive target for attackers too. Sure, you might get to save a couple dozen dollars on that program, but that may end up costing you a lot more in the long run if that application came with a little unwanted extra. And on the other hand, nowadays it’s pretty easy to find the applications you need at reasonable prices, as companies have started to change their pricing models to be much more reasonable. With that in mind, you should check if you can’t get the tool you need with a subscription model or something along those lines, as this can usually end up making the price more reasonable, especially if you only need to use it for a month or two until you get your current project finished.