It’s no secret that the internet is awash with cyber threats. However, despite this knowledge, a shocking number of web users don’t take any precautions when making their way through cyberspace. Unsurprisingly, this often results in computers being set upon by viruses and malicious software. Since a single virus has the power to render your computer unusable, it’s in your best interest to fortifying your digital defenses. If safety from computer viruses is what you seek, the following measures are sure to prove useful.
Install Reliable Antivirus Software
In the ongoing fight against viruses, dependable antivirus software can be an invaluable ally. In addition to offering real time antivirus protection, a reliable antivirus program will provide users with near-constant updates and respond to prospective threats in a timely and decisive manner. To get the most out of any antivirus program, you’ll need to install pertinent updates as they become available. While this approach to updating software may prove slightly cumbersome, it stands to save you a considerable amount of hassle down the line. Any inconvenience you suffer from promptly installing updates is a small price to pay for the additional layer of protection you’ll receive. Since it can be tempting to allow software updates to pile up, setting your antivirus software to automatically install updates as they become available may be your best course of action.
Exercise Caution When Visiting Unfamiliar Sites
Despite the first-rate protection a good antivirus program offers, you’ll still need to exercise your fair share of common sense when navigating the web. For starters, this means being very cautions when visiting unfamiliar sites. If your antivirus program and/or operating system identify a certain site as a safety risk, it’s generally better to avoid visiting that site than risk a potential virus infection. Furthermore, just because a site fails to trigger any red flags from your O.S. or antivirus program doesn’t mean that it’s 100% safe. For maximum safety, make sure to check the SSL authentication for every new site you visit. In case you’re familiar, this can be done by clicking on the padlock icon found on the far-left of the address bar.
Keep Your Operating System Up to Date
Antivirus software isn’t the only thing you’ll need to keep up to date in your efforts to avoid viruses. You’ll should also install operating system updates as they become available. Since many of these updates are created to combat newly-emerged viruses and other security threats, it’s strongly recommended that you install them at your earliest possible convenience. The longer you allow system updates to pile up, the more vulnerable your computer becomes, so take care to avoid putting O.S. updates on the backburner. Additionally, as is the case with antivirus software, you can ensure that all updates are installed right away by enabling automatic updates.
Make Sure Your Home Network is Secure
In addition to securing your computer, you’ll need to maximize the safety of your home network in order to keep viruses at bay. First off, make sure the network is password protected. Allowing anyone within a certain range to log on to your home network is practically guaranteed to result in security breaches. Secondly, change your router’s default admin logins, as this will make it much harder for cyber criminals to access the device’s administration menu and alter key security settings. Lastly, you can prevent third parties from even seeing your network by turning off SSID broadcasting.
Be Careful When Downloading Software
Software downloads from unsafe sites are among the most common causes of virus infection. With this in mind, avoid downloading software – or any other files – from websites that trigger security warnings from your operating system or antivirus software and/or sites with insufficient SSL authentication. Even if you believe there’s a chance a file downloaded from an unsafe site is the real deal, this isn’t a risk worth taking.
In the absence of the proper precautions, cyberspace can be a very dangerous place. With viruses, malicious software and various other threats lurking around every corner, it’s in every web user’s best interest to bolster their defenses. Fortunately, turning your computer into a virus-free zone doesn’t to be a challenging or costly endeavor. Putting the pointers discussed above to good use can effectively protect your data and keep your computer safe from a growing assortment of threats.