When you’re online, you expose your vulnerability to malicious virus that have been growing in virulence and ferocity over the last few years. The key pathway through which malware attacks the system is the Internet and its popular service, the Web. These program codes have gone beyond mere annoyances with the worst kinds disabling your PC, but they have become portals for remotely perpetuating more sinister activity that can clandestinely hack into sites, mount denial of services or steal confidential and personal data for fraudulent financial gain at your expense.
A computer virus is the most subtle of computer problems. It usually loads itself into your computer system when you run a program to which it has attached itself. From the computer system, it’ll then reproduce itself, much like a biological virus would, by attaching copies of itself to other programs on your hard drive. What it does then depends on the malevolence of its creator. Some viruses are nothing more than a practical joke. They may bring up a message like “Merry Xmas” or melt your display.
Finding out that you copied a trojan horse onto your computer is remarkably easy. You launch the program, and the next thing you know, something completely unexpected happens maybe your system is gone or your computer is laughing maniacally at you. But unless you notice your computer acting oddly before the virus has done its worst damage, you may very well not know you have it until it’s too late.
There are numerous ways to protect and remove malware from our computers. No one method is enough to ensure your computer is secure. The more layers of defense, the harder for hackers to use your computer. Here are eight simple, but critical steps to protect your computer –
1. Use a Firewall
A firewall enacts the role of a security guard. There are of two types of firewalls: a software firewall and hardware firewall. Each serves similar, but different purposes. A firewall is the first step to provide security to the computer. It creates a barrier between the computer and any unauthorized program trying to come in through the Internet. Always keep on your system firewall. It makes you aware if there are any unauthorized efforts to use your system.
2. Keep your software up to date
Software makers like Microsoft, Oracle and Adobe routinely update their software to fix bugs that could potentially be exploited by hackers. These updates are help to fix security holes, that help hackers to infect computers with malware.
3. Don’t click on links within emails
A good habit to avoid email links, if you don’t recognize a sender of an email, don’t click on any links within it. Microsoft says 44.8 percent of Windows virus infections happen because the computer user clicked on something.
4. Use an antivirus
Antivirus is one other means to protect the computer. It is software that helps to protect the computer from any unauthorized code or software that creates a threat to the system. Unauthorized software includes viruses, keyloggers, trojans etc.
5. Use a pop-up blocker
Web browsers have the ability to stop pop-up windows and allow you to set the security for accepting pop-ups. The federal OnGuardOnline site recommends never clicking on links within pop-up screens.
6. Use Complex and Secure Passwords
The first line of defence in maintaining system security is to have strong and complex passwords. Complex passwords are difficult for the hackers to find. Use a password that is at least 8 characters in length a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. While some people use the same password for everything, try to avoid that practice. Hackers use certain tools to break easy passwords in few minutes. One recent study showed that a 6 character password with all lower case letters can be broken in under 6 minutes!
7. Use Linux
The Linux operating system is the most secure system software. Almost all viruses are inactive in Linux system, but still, it’s not fully protected from malware. As an open source operating system, Linux destroys are always updating your system with the latest security patches within a day after any vulnerability detected.
8. Back up your computer
Do you regularly back up the information on your computer? If you don’t then 29 percent of computer users fall into that category you have no protection from your data from hard drive failure from virus attack or any other reason. If you value your data, back it up.