Viruses are among the many dangers that threaten computer users. If these get inside your system, there is no telling what they can do. Some are relatively harmless as they mere cause pop-up messages to appear and annoy the user. Others are more sinister as they delete files and cause the system to malfunction. It could slow down to a crawl to the point of being unusable. A virus could make the unit restart all of a sudden or collect sensitive information in the background. You need to protect your computer from this threat at all cost. Be sure to do the following:
Install an Antivirus Software
If you haven’t done it already, be sure to install an antivirus program on your computer. Check out the best antivirus software for Windows if that is the operating system you’re using. There is a number of them that you can download for free and use during a trial period. After this expires, you can choose to pay for a subscription to get the full functionalities or simply install a new one to try out. You will find that some are better at detecting threats than others. Some are also more resource-intensive than others, causing the system to slow down while they are running.
Protect Your Account with a Password
Be sure to set up your system in such a way as to have accounts for each user and have all of these protected by a password. It will be too much of a mess if everyone in the house used the same account, even if the others only did so from time to time. Always keep your personal files and settings private. Even guests should have their own general account. As for the password, be sure to make it strong and difficult to crack. Don’t use your birthday or any other obvious codes that people could use when you’re not looking.
Beware of Ads on the Internet
A lot of computers get infected by viruses through the Internet. Often, pop-up ads would appear and tempt you to click to get a prize or some other trickery. They might even flash a warning that your system got infected by a virus and so you need to download their software. Of course, they only want to get a foothold in your computer. Those who don’t know any better will simply do as they are told and get transported to a malicious website that will download the virus in the background. The next time the system is used, there may be discernible odd behaviors caused by this malicious code.
Plenty of viruses get into a system through email such as the highly popular I Love You bug over a decade ago. Hackers send emails imploring the recipient to open an attachment but of course, the file is never what they say it is. They may promise a prize, a picture, a vital document, or whatever beneficial item though the reality is that it’s a piece of code that will do damage to the computer. Always check if it is someone you know. If not, then do not open the attachment and put the email in the trash. Use an email service that includes a virus scanner to be on the safe side.
Physically Secure Your System
Of course, you have to physically secure the computer so that other people don’t get the chance to put viruses on it. Never leave it unattended in public where it can be stolen. Even when at home, be sure to put it on sleep mode if you are going to leave your desk and set it such that a password in needed to re-enter. This way, you can be certain that no one will be accessing your files and using the computer without your permission.
Scan External Drives Before Use
If you are going to use external drives, then scan them first before copying files from them. Thumb drives are often used to transfer large files from one device to another. Be careful as these may contain hidden dangers within its folders. Scanning should be pretty quick. Do it to reduce the risk of infecting the system.