John P.

John P.

6 minute read

Cybersecurity 101: Most Effective Ways to Secure your Computer from Viruses and Hackers

Cybersecurity 101: Most Effective Ways to Secure your Computer from Viruses and Hackers

It is quite evident that technological advancements have become a huge part in today’s fast-paced society. For instance, computers and other handy gadgets these days are now considered a necessity rather than luxury. People use them both as primary tools for work, personal errands, and entertainment.

While the use of computer technology has become universal, you should also bear in mind of their limitations. They can be powerful, but still vulnerable and could put you at risk at the same time.

hacker

Whether you use your computer or other gadgets for work, business, or personal agenda, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions and maximize security. Keep in mind that computer viruses and malware attacks can happen anytime. Cybercriminals will do everything to breach into your data and use them against you.

When it comes to cybersecurity, you should be familiar with the possible threats that may attack you. Some of the common viruses and malware attacks include Trojan Horses, worms, resident virus, browser hijacking, macro virus, botnets, NanoCore, and many more.

To ensure security and privacy of your computer and gadget usage, feel free to use the following key pointers below:

  • Keep your System and Software Up-to-Date

This may sound pretty basic, but a lot of people ignore the importance of updating their overall system and security software. Some users even find it annoying every time they receive system update notifications.

up to date

Updating your system is not just about the added features or visual interface. It also resolves security leaks from your device. Most of the time, service providers and developers of the operating system (OS) require this when they find certain vulnerabilities and security loopholes.

In addition, you shouldn’t just update your OS. All software, especially security programs should be up-to-date. Moreover, if you have purchased a device with pre-release versions, you need to keep track of their features and validity. These are usually unstable, which can put you at risk. In fact, some of the stable release versions also have bugs and defects.

Watch out for fake updates, as well. This is one of the methods used by hackers and cybercriminals to breach your data. Do your research about your OS’ updates before clicking suspicious links.

  • Invest in Reliable Antivirus and Anti Spyware Software

Always remember any device linked to the Internet is vulnerable to various cyber threats such as malware, ransomware, and Trojan attacks. Take note that installing an antivirus software isn’t enough to prevent these attacks. You should also explore their features and subscription packages. Some of the trusted brands individuals and businesses use today are Norton, Bitdefender, Avast, AVG, and Avira.

antivirus

On the other hand, Spyware is also on top of the list that could be fatal to your device. As the name implies, this type of malware can be difficult to detect, especially without updated security software.

Fortunately, there are now reputable online security software marketplace offering the latest security tools for computers any other device. Check out their packages, and inquire about the added features. Make sure to choose the most compatible software for your computer.

  • Check your Firewall Settings

Generally, most computers activate firewall automatically. However, IT experts recommend checking your firewall settings from time to time. This is to ensure safe computer usage. The primary function of a firewall is to serve as a barrier between your device and the Internet. It can sort out the computer ports, which can prevent communication from the network itself. With this configure, you can resolve any potential threats.

Take note that if computer ports are always open, it is more prone to hijacking and other malware attacks. You may deactivate ports manually, but this is not enough defense for such threats. Still, your safest bet is to enable your firewall.

For operating systems with a built-in firewall, you can simply activate it using these steps: Go to Control Panel, click System, then Security. You can also install additional OS firewall to maximize security. Some of the recommended tools are Comodo and TinyWall.

  • Configure your Browser Settings

The good thing about most Internet browsers today is you can set the level of privacy and security of your browsing activities. You can even block cookies to avoid site tracking. This can help prevent hacking attempts and malware infections.

firewall

Keep in mind however that most of these options can be disabled by default. Take necessary precautions, and check your browser settings. This should only take a few minutes, especially if you’re using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. These browsers can even walk you through on how to secure privacy while browsing.

Other than the steps mentioned above, you can also maximize security and privacy of your browsing activities by installing anti-tracking tools like Disconnect and uBlock Origin.

  • Consider Data Encryption

pc encryption

Data encryption is one of the most effective ways to secure your device from viruses and hackers. This provides added security layer as it requires resources to decrypt it. In other words, it serves as deterrents from unauthorized parities trying to access your data and other valuable information.

There are now several tools you can explore that allow subscribers encrypt other valuable details such as online traffic and account details. If you’re looking for full spectrum encryption, you can opt for VeraCrypt and BitLocker.

  • Use a VPN

Using a Virtual Private Network or VPN is another popular way to secure your browsing activities, which restricts giving any valuable details to hackers. When using a private network, your Internet traffic is encrypted. They can also be filtered using a different location, which can secure your main IP address, as well.

vpn-for-home-security

Another perk of using a Virtual Private Network is it allows you to choose the server location based on your preferences. Some IT experts use this to get faster connection or to unblock geo-locked content. Moreover, a VPN can also help you secure your Internet activities when using public WiFi networks.

  • Secure your Password, and Lock your Device

Finally, you can protect your device from viruses and hackers by simply securing your password and locking your device. While most web-connected software you use on your system requires login credentials, it is advisable to always secure your passwords. In addition, make sure to use unique passwords.

strong password

As much as possible, have separate passwords from each login credential. You can utilize password generator tools such as LastPass and Norton Password Generator to help you with this.

In case you’re having problems remembering set of passwords, you can also check out the password manager app. Many people today in the business world use this to keep their account details safe and secured—as they have 2 authentication process (via email, and SMS) before getting an access.

These are just some of the few steps you can do to secure your computer from viruses and hackers. Again, always be cautious with your activities, especially online. Use updated security and maintenance software to keep your device safe and improve performance.

Author Bio:

John is a Baritone Opera Singer by profession and a member of the Philippine Tenors. Loves to do Digital Marketing. He is the CEO of Mega Media Internet Advertising and an SEO manager of Softvire Australia – Australia’s top software ecommerce company.

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