Almost every aspect of our lives today is associated with computers in one way or another. Do you know that so much information related to your work and personal life could be at stake because of security infringements? This article will help you protect yourself from dangerous malware.
In this article, we will tell you how you often end up exposing yourself to dangerous malware without even it and ways you can prevent that from happening.
Most often it’s the result of carelessness that leads to such catastrophic results. But before we tell you how to protect yourself against malware, let’s see how they can harm you.
Malware is short for Malicious Software, a term used for harmful computer programs like viruses, trojans, worms, that hackers use to cause destruction or gain access to sensitive information.
Microsoft defines it as a software designed to cause damage to a single computer, server, or computer.
It’s a common misconception that no seriously dangerous malware will ever affect the system of a common man. And this is one of the most common mistakes people make, along with the others that we are going to mention.
Follow some important rules and you’ll be safe from hackers and malware.
Don’t leave your computer exposed
Leaving your computer exposed means not having any antivirus installed at all. It is the gravest sin you can commit against the safety of your computer. Installing an antivirus on your system is the first step you take towards ensuring the safety of your PC.
It’s important you install an antivirus in your system and also scan and update your system frequently.
Beware of that free WiFi
How many times has it happened that you are somewhere out and end up using those free public internet services? It’s very tempting to do so. Especially in India, free public WiFi services are like Christmas gifts for common people.
But did you know that free public internet services are highly insecure and very easy to hack?
So next time you are tempted to use a public internet service, keep it in your mind that you might be exposing yourself to dangerous viruses.
And what if your cellular network isn’t working fast enough and you really need to access the internet? In such cases, always use a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) uses an encrypted connection to safeguard your device against hackers, snoopers, and malware.
Do not procrastinate software updates!
One time or another, we all have done this – clicking on that “remind me later” tab every time a new software update notification pops up on your screen.
While it’s fine if you do this a few times, it is NOT fine to do this again and again.
Updating your system can be time consuming and inconvenient but it is important. You might ask what’s the need for it when your system is working just without the update too.
Each update provides your system with mandatory tools needed to fight off malware and hackers.
In case you really can’t be bothered with an update in the middle of your ongoing work, scheduling might help. Just schedule the update for a time when you might not be busy on your PC and the rest will be taken care of.
Investigate before you click
It often happens with emails. Most of them are just spam and if you click on the attachments without thinking much, you might be exposing yourself to harmful threats.
Always make sure that the sender is legitimate before clicking on any attached file.
Don’t be lazy with passwords
This doesn’t merely mean making a strong password but also keeping it exclusive for each and every account you have.
It is a convenient option to make one strong password and use it for several other accounts, websites, and applications that you have; however, this can have some serious harmful consequences.
Can you imagine that with a little bit of effort, a hacker can decode your password? Once decoded, not only one but all of your data from different platforms would be compromised.
So it is mandatory that you create unique passwords for all your different accounts. If you face problems remembering them, use a password manager.
Moreover, always lock your accounts with two-factor authentication or 2FA. 2FA would require you to give a secondary form of identification before giving you access to your account.
Don’t forget about your online presence
With the evolution of social media, you have a plethora of online platforms to choose from. It won’t be that surprising if you forget a few of them as more new and better options keep coming up.
While it is fine to have a lot of accounts on different platforms, you must take care of the fact that you haven’t completely forgotten about any of them.
If there are such platforms that you are no longer visiting at all, it is better to get rid of them. In case you’d rather not delete your account from there, then make sure you log into them every once in a while.
If you are not aware of your online presence, or worse, even forgotten about most of them you won’t even come to know if your account has been compromised.
So make a list of all the accounts that you have right away and routinely go through them every once in a while and delete those you no longer need or use.
Terms and Conditions
Many times being lazy with this means you end up giving companies permission to use your private data which you actually wouldn’t like them to have.
Always be aware of the data collecting policies of a company before installing their app or signing up on their website.
So is that all?
Sadly, no. That’s not all. Taking these measures will definitely make you less vulnerable to hacks and malware, but this will greatly reduce your chances of facing them.
In a world evolving fast towards IoT and AI-controlled lifestyle, even cybercriminals are evolving. Nothing can be completely foolproof. These few measures will help you avoid the problems which might be inevitable otherwise.
To help you through this fast-changing, technology-savvy world, you just need to follow some basic ground rules to stay safe. Good luck!