The internet has become a mainstay of nearly every aspect of our lives. From the workplace to the home, business to entertainment, our needs and wants have become increasingly reliant on our computers and smart devices.
However, this reliance has also increased our vulnerability to malware like viruses, worms, trojans and ransomware. These examples of malicious software have different goals, but all of them will cause some degree of harm to your device.
Being infected with malware is no joke. Its ill effects can range from device malfunction to identity theft. In 2021, 79 percent of companies were hurt due to the lack of cyber preparedness from attacks, including malware and viruses.
How do you make sure that your computer or mobile device is virus-free? We’ve gathered a handful of tips for you below.
Table of Contents
Install Antivirus Software
Reliable antivirus software will keep your computer safe by alerting you to any infections or suspicious files.
If you use the internet or download files on a near-daily basis, running a virus scanner at least once a week is good. You should also do this if you decide to connect external storage devices to your computer.
It’s also vital to update your antivirus software regularly to ensure that your cyber shields are always up.
Update Your System
Aside from updating your antivirus software, it’s also essential to keep up-to-date with your operating system’s (OS) software updates.
Every once in a while, your OS would prompt you to install software updates. They might seem annoying, especially if you’re caught in the middle of doing something else, but take care to keep up with them in your free time.
These updates include improvements or rectifications to your existing software, often improving your device’s security and performance.
Avoid Questionable Websites
Aside from beefing up your device, another factor in protecting yourself from malware is adjusting your browsing behaviour.
One effective way to ensure device safety is by avoiding any suspicious links or questionable websites you may encounter.
If someone sends you an unfamiliar link without any context, it’s best to avoid clicking on it. Many phishing websites proliferate by spreading the link across each victim’s contact list.
When in doubt, don’t click. But if you feel like you need to, you can use Google Safe Browsing.
Scrutinize Your Downloads
Aside from the websites you visit, you could get viruses from your downloaded files. Like the links you may encounter, try to be careful about the files you download and the sites where you get them.
If a stranger sends you a suspicious email attachment, avoid downloading it unless it’s necessary. Infected files are also quite common in online piracy platforms, so it is highly advisable to avoid the practice or be careful around these spaces.
Many antivirus programs offer virus scanning services for downloads, so you could use that if you have to download a particular file.
Protecting yourself from virus or malware attacks helps make browsing the internet an easier and less worrying experience. Following the proper precautions will help you avoid potential damage from malicious software, helping you keep your devices in top shape for whatever purpose it serves.