How You Can Protect Yourself From Computer Viruses

May 12, 2016

Computer viruses are harmful programs that replicate themselves and then attach those copies to other programs in your computer, slowing down your system, taking up space and corrupting your data. They can cause some serious damage, so it’s of utmost importance to protect yourself from computer viruses. Though taking the necessary precaution measures to ensure your computer won’t get infected doesn’t require advanced computer skills or too much time, you have to be really careful.

How You Can Protect Yourself From Computer Viruses

The Importance Of Antivirus Software

The first and most important step is to install an anti-virus program. This is imperative, as other efforts won’t have much effect if your computer is running without this type of software. So, after you have installed the program, you have to make sure that it’s always up to date, working both properly and optimally. Anti-virus software is the best defense against viruses, as it constantly scans your system in search of viruses attempting to get into your files, operating system or email. Since there are hundreds of computer viruses in the wild and new viruses emerge on a daily basis, you should set your anti-virus program to update itself automatically.

The Difference Between Computer Viruses

It’s important to note that not all anti-virus programs were created equally. When purchasing such a package, you should take several factors into consideration, including the price of the software, the quality and availability of technical support, the platforms supported by the software and how often the program updates itself.For maximum protection, you can opt to buy and use two different anti-virus programs.

Though you may think that using anti-virus software is enough, it’s best to use a firewall as well. Firewalls scan information from the Internet or a network and determine whether it’s safe to pass them through to your computer. If your firewall detects any suspicious activity, it won’t allow it to enter your computer, meaning it will block viruses and worms.

How To Protect Your Computer

How You Can Protect Yourself From Computer VirusesDue to the fact that most viruses enter your computer system through email attachments, which means the viruses start spreading the moment you open the attachment, you should never open any unexpected attachments. In other words, if you knew someone would send you an attachment, feel free to open it. If you received a suspicious attachment, delete the message. You should be aware, though, that even people you know can unintentionally send you a virus, especially if the message has been forwarded to them in the first place. Fortunately, a good anti-virus program can automatically scan any incoming messages and warn you if an attachment is corrupted.

Next, if you’re a Microsoft user, make sure to update your computer. Microsoft often releases security updates which aim to block any malicious programs from attacking your computer. To receive these updates, just turn on automatic updating. Since new viruses are developed daily, you might want to consider informing yourself about the latest threats so that you know what to pay attention to. What you should also do is use a pop-up blocker, which will prevent pop-ups from appearing on your screen. Even though most are advertisements, some pop-ups can contain viruses, so you shouldn’t take any risks.

To ensure nothing happens on your computer without your permission, you can turn on User Account Control (UAC), which enables you to approve or deny any major changes in your system. It’s also a good idea to have backups of all your data, so that you could restore them in the case of a virus attack or other unfortunate situations, such as hard drive failure.

Is The Internet A Safe Place?

What you should also keep in mind is that you cannot get infected by just browsing the Internet. However, computer viruses spread super-fast through Internet downloads, especially the illegal ones. If possible, don’t install programs and download files from the Internet, as it’s the only way to stay 100% safe online. Some of these measures might seem unnecessary or too time-consuming, but the bottom line is that the time you spend protecting your computer from malicious programs will pay off in the long run. Besides, it’s much harder and more frustrating to deal with and remove a malignant virus than to prevent its attack.