Malware stands for the malicious program and it’s something that can harm you in multiple ways. From redirect viruses that ruin your browsing experience to Ransomware that encrypts your important files.
Which is why it’s important to know how to protect your computer. I’ll guide you through the whole process – from removing redirect virus to Ransomware.
In overall, these are the steps that you’ll have to follow in order to protect your computer:
- Install an Anti-Malware
- Install an Antivirus
- Configure your Windows Updates
- Don’t trust freeware
- Don’t explore the dark side of the Internet
- Keep an eye out for scammers
- Read the latest news
Install an Anti-Malware
Anti-Malware programs are generally designed to protect us from various kinds of malware and that’s why installing one is a crucial step. As for which one to choose, for most people, MalwareFox is a good choice.
This is not a MalwareFox review, but let’s take a short look at what it offers and why it’s recommended to install such a program in the first place.
- Malware protection
- Real-time protection
- Ransomware protection
Malware protection is essential. Unlike modern Antiviruses that mostly focus on traditional viruses, an all-purpose Anti-Malware can detect anything from adware to spyware.
Real-time protection can detect a piece of malware before it gets the chance to get installed on your computer. Prevention is better than cure.
Ransomware protection focuses on protecting you from the deadly kinds of Ransomware – a piece of malware which encrypts your data and asks for a ransom. If you don’t pay, you don’t get your files back.
In fact, even if you do pay, there’s no guarantee that the cybercriminal will help you. After all, you’re dealing with a criminal.
Install an Antivirus
I know what you’re thinking. Using two security programs at once is a bad idea right? That’s partially true.
The truth is that using one Anti-Malware and one Antivirus program at once is completely fine because the two of them are detecting different kinds of malware – the question is “Why do we need to use both of them in the first place?”.
Precisely because they detect different kinds of threats! If one of your product misses something the other might be able to “catch” it. Using more than two security programs or two security programs of the same kind is generally not recommended, though.
Antivirus programs don’t only specialize in detecting viruses and malware, but they also offer additional security features such as banking protection, web protection, etc.
As for which program to choose, well, you might not like this, but Windows Defender works for your average person. I’ve been using it with MalwareFox for the past year or so and it’s been a pleasant experience.
Configure your Windows Updates
Nobody likes Windows Updates. They can interrupt your work and force you to restart your computer in case that you postpone them for too long.
However, they are essential for your overall protection and they can also work automatically without interrupting your work.
All you have to do is set your active hours to your preference. You can do that by going to Windows Settings -> Update and Security -> Windows Update -> Change Active Hours.
At that point, you need to select at what times you’re using your computer. After that, Windows will only automatically restart and install updates when you’re not using your computer.
It’s quite an easy process and this is much better than completely disabling your Windows Updates because you’ll be receiving important security patches.
Don’t Trust Freeware
Legitimate freeware from legitimate sources such as VLC player or Audacity is completely fine. I’m talking about freeware that’s not trustworthy such as pirated programs or apps that install 3rd party software of questionable background.
This is often how PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) get installed. You get a free program and then you also get 3 more programs installed automatically – seemingly out of nowhere.
That’s precisely why it’s recommended to stay away from freeware. If you can’t afford games, check out the free to play list on Steam. If you can’t afford a program, don’t get a pirated version but check out legitimate free alternative options.
Don’t Explore the Dark Side of the Internet
By dark side, I mostly refer to shady websites, ads, emails, links, and stuff like that. Just stay away from those. If you don’t, you might have to deal with malware, scammers, and who knows what else.
The random spam emails that most of us get on Gmail are one good example of this. Weird looking ads on websites that host pirated content are another one. You get the point!
Keep an Eye Out for Scammers
Scammers can also infect you with malware or fool you into paying money for stuff that you don’t necessarily need.
An example of this is those random calls from people who tell you that they are from Microsoft and that your computer is infected with a virus. They just want to make you pay for a product that you don’t need.
Microsoft will never call you on your phone to inform you about a virus infection. There’s Windows Defender for that and it works automatically.
You can use the same way of thinking to detect future scammers who might approach you as well.
Read the Latest News
Security programs and security tips are wonderful, but malware, cybercriminals, and scammers are always looking for new, more sophisticated ways of harming us for their own benefit.
Learn how the various kinds of malware infect people, learn more details on how scammers work, and in general, keep on learning. The Internet can be a very powerful tool and a very dangerous one as well depending on how you use it.
I’ll give you one quick example of knowledge: Most kinds of Ransomware generally use MS Word macros to infect people. They arrive as .doc attachments on emails and they fool you into enabling macros so that you’ll infect yourself.
Now that you have this piece of information, you’re less likely to get tricked into infecting yourself with Ransomware.
You can use Google to learn more and more about stuff like that so that you’ll be able to protect yourself.