There are many ways to prevent malware and identity theft from getting on your computer. Over the years, malware has become more and more prevalent. From it stems terrible things like the recent WannaCry virus, hijackers, identity theft, lost files, and shut down companies.
We are frequently asked why people would create these things? Don’t they have better things to do with their time?
Short Answer: Money!
Many of these viruses and infections require you spending money to the hackers to fix your computer. Because of this, more and more (evil) people are finding new ways to infect computers. Here are the 20 best ways to protect yourself from getting malware on your computer.
1. Don’t Open Suspicious Emails
Opening attachments that you are not expecting are the easiest way for a virus to get into your computer. This is like opening the door to a robber and letting them into your house.
2. Keep Windows Up To Date
There are tons of exploits that Windows is constantly patching to make the computer more safe. If the computer isn’t updated, you may be at risk if one of these exploits hits you before it is patched.
3. Use a Proper Anti Virus
There are plenty of anti virus companies out there. Make sure the one you are using is highly ranked. We recommend Bit Defender as it not only was ranked #1 in May 2017 but it also has real-time monitoring by our technicians. Basically, think a ADT home security system for the computer.
4. Update Your Antivirus Regularly
The reason your definitions get updated hourly is because new viruses are written every minute! Furthermore, staying up to date will protect your computer from the newest threats.
5. Set User Account Controls
If you are on a Windows computer you can use a local account with a lower privileged. This way, you cannot accidentally install the viruses anyway. Making it inconvenient to install new programs, adds a layer of “Do I Really Need This?” which can save you in the long-run.
6. Don’t Click On Links Unless You Were Specifically Searching For It
Hackers will not post things saying “click me I am a virus.” They will look at your recent browsing habits. “Oh, does John like fishing” (pun intended). Click here for discounts on fishing rods, but the link goes to a malicious website. Be weary and suspicious. If you wanted to look up fishing rods, manually Google it and don’t click on the PPC ads at the top.
7. Don’t Click on the Google PPC Ads
The top ads can be purchased by anybody, including criminals. They can have a landing page that requests personal information. The owner of Rush, filled out one of these pages for an insurance quote to test out what would happen with a fake Google Voice number. He received 42 phone calls the next day from different companies starting at 8AM sharp and lasting all day long.
8. Perform Daily Antivirus Scans
Make sure nothing has slipped through the cracks. Perform a quick scan daily, and a deep scan weekly. This will help locate many viruses, trojans, and general malware.
9. Perform Daily Antimalware Scans
Using a software like Malwarebytes is a free and easy way to check for things that your antivirus may have missed. You do not want both running at the same time, as it will severely slow down your computer. Protection from malware is crucial in having a happy computer.
10. Check msconfig
Note: Only for advanced users. type “msconfig” in the run box and see what is running when your computer turns on. Be sure to turn off all unnecessary programs. Please use your own discretion, you may accidentally turn off something that is important and hurt the system. Use a tech, or a resource like shouldiremoveit to know which are okay to turn on and off.
11. Use an Adblock Extension
Aside from emails, ads are a great way for hackers to gain access. An Adblock extension will help protect you from yourself. It will also make browsing more enjoyable.
12. Don’t Install Software By Clicking NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT NEXT
We have all done it, but you need to make sure when you are installing software that you at least see what the main point of the next page is. Usually, there are check boxes where you can uncheck installing new 3rd party software or installing browser hijackers on each page. If you leave the box checked, you are allowing access to your computer, whether you actually wanted to or not. This is one of the top ways malware can get on your computer.
13. Secure Your Network With A Strong Password
Using a strong password to protect your network is key to stopping others from gaining access. 78% of families do not change their default password on the router. Most combinations include the username being admin and the password being password. If somebody gains access, they can launch a slew of problems that all get traced back to you.
14. Don’t Use the Same Password
If one password is leaked in any area, everything in your life will be leaked. Switch it up, use password managers like LastPass to help.
15. Disable Image Previews in Email Client
Because the preview alone can let malware on the computer. This can be done through the settings on most major email clients.
16. Don’t Use Open WiFi
Connecting to an open wifi is giving permission to connect to an unsecured network. Be on the lookout for open networks at public places that may be fake, like “Free Airport WiFi” which can be hosted by a hacker to gain access.
17. Use Identity Protection Software
Software that protects you as a person is very important. This is why we recommend TrackOFF which was featured on Home Shopping Network, Best Buy, and the Wall Street Journal. This software will erase your digital footprint so that you cannot be tracked online.
18. Regularly Clean Cookies
Cookies keep track of where you have been and what you do. Again, we recommend identity protection software to avoid having to manually do this.
19. Use a Firewall
Most routers have a built in firewall to open and close ports of communication. Some ports are not necessary and should be closed with the firewall. Check your manual for your model and make sure that it is enabled. Premium antivirus software also will have this feature built in.
20. Use Strong Passwords
We recommend having a sentence in your head, say for instance Jack & Jill Went Up the Hill to Fetch a Pail of Water” you can use the password J&JW^tH2FaPoW which is very long and elaborate, yet memorable. That can be your base password, then add in the beginning or end something about the site you are visiting so they are all unique. J&JW^tH2FaPoW&FB (we added &FB this would be the Facebook password). Any variation of this idea is recommended. Much better than Johnny123, yeah?
In conclusion, using these strategies can help protect you from getting hacked. As always, we are here to help. If you subscribe to free tune up reminders, you can get a free tune up every quarter from Rush Tech Support.[yikes-mailchimp form=”1″ title=”1″ description=”1″]