Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Computer From Malware

18th March 2023

You can do a few simple things to protect your computer from malware. Malware can steal sensitive information and ruin your PC’s performance.

The most important thing you can do is install antivirus software. Then keep it updated and scan your computer regularly. Antivirus software will detect and remove viruses before they can cause damage to your computer.

Install Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is essential to protecting your computer from viruses, spyware, and malware that can cause damage to your files or operating system. It works by comparing your computer applications and files to a database of known malware kinds, and if a match is found, it is segregated, scanned, and deleted.

It is important to remember that hackers are constantly creating new viruses and other malware, which means antivirus software needs to be updated regularly. This helps the software detect and remove new threats as they arise.

Another feature of modern antivirus software is behavior monitoring, which watches the traffic between your computer and external devices, such as networked computers, USB thumb drives, or printers. This lets the software know when suspicious activity is happening and can undo any changes those external devices have made to your computer.

Some antivirus software also comes with anti-phishing tools to protect against phishing emails, often designed to trick you into divulging your personal information. This is important because phishing attacks can be hazardous and cause your computer to crash or become disabled.

Keep Your Software Updated

Software updates are the simplest way to protect your computer from malware. They include security patches that block open doors in the software, allowing threat actors to access your device and steal information.

Most software vendors release periodic updates to fix security flaws and enhance the functionality of their products. It is crucial to download and install these updates as soon as they are available.

Updating software is especially important when you have personal information such as your bank account number, passwords, or confidential documents stored in the software. Failure to update your software can leave you vulnerable to attacks that would steal and expose your data on the dark web.

While most people don’t like to think about it, updating your software is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your computer from malware. Most operating systems and apps have an auto-update feature allowing you to receive and install new updates automatically.

Use a Firewall

One of the most important things you can do to protect your computer from malware is to use a firewall. So, what is malware in computer do once there are firewalls? Firewalls are digital security systems that analyze incoming network traffic and block unauthorized data packets based on pre-set rules.

This way, firewalls act as digital moats, preventing hackers from entering your network and stealing your data. They’re a crucial part of cybersecurity, as cybercriminals create hundreds of thousands of new threats daily.

Investing in a firewall also blocks spyware, programs designed to steal your personal information and control your computers. These programs are often distributed through phishing emails, malicious websites, and software downloads.

Firewalls work around the clock to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your network and information. They can stop hackers completely or deter them from choosing an easier target.

Beware of Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are a common way that cybercriminals try to steal your personal information and money. Scams can be hard to spot, but you can do a few things to protect yourself from them.

Often, phishing scams use social engineering to lure users into providing sensitive information such as user IDs, passwords, and credit card data. This can lead to various problems, from identity theft to fraud.

To be sure that the email you’re receiving is legitimate, contact the company through a known, official method, such as their website URL or customer support phone number. Also, review your banking and credit card statements as soon as possible to ensure no unauthorized withdrawals or charges.

Malicious links in phishing emails are widespread and designed to take users to impostor websites or sites infected with malware. These malicious links are challenging to detect; even your email program’s built-in security sometimes catches them.

Avoid Phony Websites

While the internet has many practical purposes, only some things you find online are legitimate. Some websites are set up for nefarious reasons and attempt everything from identity theft to credit card fraud.

Scammers often use social engineering tactics to lure users into a fake website. They may impersonate your bank’s login page, password reset pages for services like Amazon or Netflix, or package delivery requests.

It would be best to analyze a website’s URL and domain name to avoid these scams. Look for misspellings, awkward phrasings, and other discrepancies that can tell you it’s not a legitimate site.

You should also check whether the website has an SSL/TLS certificate. A padlock symbol indicates it before your web address bar’s URL and HTTPS prefix.

The best way to know if a website is safe is to use Google’s Safe Browsing Transparency Report or a tool like URLVoid. These tools analyze billions of URLs daily and warn you about unsafe sites before you open them.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.