In today’s computer age, viruses, spyware, and malware come in all shapes and sizes. The end user needs to be proactive against security threats in today’s internet world. Day by day, security threats are getting worse as technology expands at an exponential rate. Securing office networks, servers and workstation from imminent threats like viruses, spyware malware, Trojans, and adware are becoming more difficult. Many of the computers in the world may be infected even without the end user knowing it.
According to many statistics, there is a rapid increase in malware expenses, and according to Google research, one in ten websites in the world are affected by malware. Although virus and similar threats cannot be totally avoided, steps can be taken to minimize its effect by following several security practices. The following section will take you through some of the precautions that can be made to minimize the effects of viruses, infections, and attacks.
How to Protect My Computer from Viruses and Malware
Many users in the world use free Antivirus software to protects their computers from threats. But free antivirus software does not provide adequate protection for the fast growing threats in today’s world. Business and professional grade software are preferred over free antivirus software due to this reason. These types of antivirus software are updated frequently. This will help in avoiding recent threats in a timely manner. A wide variety of threats can be avoided and additional protective features can be added with the aid of antivirus software.
Although Antivirus software is the first line of defense for the user against malicious software, this is not the only thing that the user has to worry about. The user should adopt practices and behaviors that will reinforce the way that these protective software’s work.
Spyware and adware are another type of software that is a treat to our PCs. Many users believe that the built-in features of the antivirus software are sufficient to protect the PC from such threats as well. Unfortunately, this is not true. Most free antispyware software does not provide real-time protection either. Paid or fully licensed software will need to be used in order to prevent such threats from entering the computer and for the total removal of such threats as well.
Up-to-date Malware Application
If timely updates are not made to the databases of the antivirus and malware software, they may be useless in protecting the computer from threats. Users also should ensure that licenses of the respective antivirus software do not expire. This will ensure that the software is providing current and continued protection for the PC. Threats are moving faster than ever thanks to social media sites like Facebook and twitter.
Sometimes a system that has active protection can let in threats and infect the system. This is due to the high volume of new threats that are released into the internet which has the potential to outsmart a protected system. Users may even allow a virus or malware into the system by instructing the software to do so unknowingly. Daily scanning for such threats will add another layer of protection for the PC. The scan should run automatically and manually frequently. These processes are made simple by the best software in the market.
Disabling Auto Run
Many of the viruses that are created today mainly install by themselves with the help of auto run on the machines. Viruses mainly propagate with the help of thumb drives, external hard drives, network drives into the systems. Auto run can be disabled on any Windows platform but will differ according to the type of the platform.
Disable Image Previews
One way that viruses enter our computer is by images. The graphics code that is used to display the image is used in order to execute the virus inside the system. This can be avoided by disabling the image preview on the browser or outlook.
Clicking on Attachments and Links
Clicking on email links and attachments with viruses can easily corrupt windows, destroy data, and infect machines if necessary precautions are not taken. First, we have to scan the attachment for viruses and malware before downloading them onto the system. These should be done using professional software rather than free ones. When clicking on links, websites should be opened manually. If the attachment seems suspicious, verifying with the sender would also be a good idea.
There are also plugins that professional malware and antivirus soft wares offer. Theses plugins prevent drive in attacks from taking place. Phishing attacks are also avoided where the browser steals personal financial and sensitive data from the system. Other plugins provide link protection. These plugins check its database for bad pages on the web and display them to the user. These plugins will be key in avoiding malicious sites. Automatic popup blockers also help in the same way. Users should avoid entering personal, financial and sensitive information unless the web pages were manually initiated. Clicking on hyperlinks with email which redirect the user to a website may be fake and fraudulent and may be used to steal sensitive information.
When a third party based firewall is used, sharing hardware resources like printer becomes a problem as they are also blocked by the firewall. This may lead to disabling the firewall, making it a useless preventive measure. Firewalls are very important as a preventive measure from a wide variety of malicious attacks. The firewall that comes with windows provides insufficient protection. Internet-connected PC should be secured with the help of a hardware based firewall rather than a software firewall.
The Internet throws in a lot of threats; drive by infections are caused very easily by just visiting a website that is disconcerting. DNS attacks are caused by a compromised DNS server that redirects the user to an unauthorized website. This can be avoided by changing the way in which DNS is processed on the computer. A good example is Open DNS that protects the computer from threats like phishing, spyware, and hazards on the web.
The browser settings can be adjusted to prevent intrusion taking place into the browser and then the system. Keeping the operating system up-to-date also help in preventing these threats from affecting the computer.
File sharing is also a common way in which computer contract with viruses. The best way to avoid such threats is to visit legitimate sites that consist of prescreened materials. A good security software will scan the download before being loaded onto the computer.