People nowadays use computers in almost every aspect of their lives. And as the role that computers play has expanded, they have become a more tempting target for cybercriminals, hackers, and others with malicious intentions.
The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert to keep your computer safe and secure. In fact, there are several very simple ways that you can get the job done:
Scan your computer regularly using antivirus and antimalware software
Needless to say if you want to protect your computer from viruses, Trojans, and other malware – your best bet is to install antivirus and antimalware software. On top of that you should carry out scans regularly to ensure that any malicious code is caught early.
It should be easy enough to find a reliable free antivirus software. On top of that you could also look at other antimalware software that specializes in detecting Trojans, spyware, and so on.
Update your operating system and software regularly
Many security issues stem from vulnerabilities in your operating system or other software installed on your computer. By keeping all of them updated on a regular basis, you can get the latest patches that fix any new vulnerabilities and prevent most threats.
Enable your firewall
Think of a firewall as a barrier that ‘shields’ your computer and blocks any unwanted communication between it and other devices. If it is enabled, you can prevent many threats and lessen the impact of viruses and spyware.
For quite some time now Windows has had its own firewall available that you can simply enable. However if you want you could install and enable one of the numerous third-party firewall apps that are out there too.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you want to browse the internet securely, your best bet is to use a VPN. It will help you to encrypt your data and protect it from prying eyes while you’re online, and keep you anonymous too.
The only caveat is that you need to make sure that you find a reliable VPN that you can use without having to worry about its service. It is best if you read more and find out about the features of a VPN before you decide which one to use.
Don’t open anything that you do not recognize
As a rule you should never ever open anything that you don’t recognize, regardless of whether it is an email, link, app, or some other file. More often than not they could contain phishing attempts or malware.
If you have any doubts it is best to err on the side of caution. Sometimes you could try to look up the sender, website, or the name of the file.
Password-protect your computer
Passwords can make a world of difference to your overall security. If you use Windows you should create a user that does not have administrator privileges and use it to log on at all times. It will be the first line of defense if someone tries to physically access your computer.
Aside from that you could also password-protect any apps that are on your computer – especially if they require internet access. In some cases you may be able to use two-step verification for additional security.
Although the measures described above are simple and straightforward, the impact they’ll have on your computer’s safety and security shouldn’t be underestimated. Generally they should be more than enough to keep the average person’s computer completely safe from almost all threats.
Of course it should be noted that in some cases you may need to take additional steps to beef up your security – especially if you’re handling sensitive data of any kind. That being said the steps above should still be the first few that you take, and will provide you with a good foundation that you can build on later.