How to Stay Away from Viruses Online?
If a virus infects your computer it can cause serious headaches, and it could potentially cost you financially as well. It is possible to pick up this type of malware from USB drives and discs, but the most usual source is infection is online. It may not be possible to enjoy 100 per protection against viruses, but you can dramatically reduce your risk of infection by following a number of steps including:
Use a Firewall to Avoid Unwelcome Guests
A firewall is a type of software or hardware that acts like a barrier to your computer or home network. It works by analyzing data packages and only allowing certain types of data to get beyond the barrier. There are many different types of firewall, and they all look focus on different aspects of the data – for example, a packet filtering system analyses IP addresses, and it can be set to only allow data access to the network from certain websites. Windows comes with its own firewall, and this gives you some protection. You can also purchase higher quality products, but it is important to only use one firewall system at time because otherwise they can interfere with each other.
Don’t Automatically Open E-Mail Attachments
One of the most common ways that computers become infected by viruses is from email attachments. It’s just too tempting to open these because they are in a message with our name on it – especially when the email appears to be coming from somebody we know. The best advice is to never open an attachment unless you are sure what it contains. If you recognize the name of the sender, it is usually best to check with them first to make sure that their email hasn’t been hacked.
Don’t Click on Links Unless You Know Where They Are Taking You
Another way that you can pick up viruses online is by visiting a website that is infected with malware. The way this often happens is that you click on an interesting sounding link on somewhere like Twitter, and you end up on one of these dodgy sites. It is very easy to fool people this way, and that’s why the scam artists love to use this trick. The way to avoid falling into this trap is to always use your mouse to hover the cursor over the link first to see where it is going to take you – you do this before clicking.
Be Cautious with Pop-Up Windows
Pop-up windows can be particularly tricky because they can be designed to look as if they are coming from your computer rather than the internet. You need to be always cautious about clicking on these. The scam pop-ups will usually contain a dire warning about your computer being in danger. If these start appearing out of nowhere, you probably want to do a virus check. It is also a good idea to clear your browser cache.
Only Download from Sources You Trust
Downloading stuff from the internet can be like inviting a complete stranger into your home – you don’t really know if you are dealing with some type of unsavory character. This is why it is always important to know as much as you can before you hit the download button. The biggest risk can come from pirated material, but viruses can also be hidden in files that look to be perfectly legit. It is best to only download from reputable sites – if you are unsure, it is best to avoid downloading.
Install Quality Antivirus Software
Probably the most crucial thing you need to do keep yourself safe from online viruses is to have a quality antivirus program on your computer. Mac computers tend to be infected less than Windows PCs, but it is still a good idea to have this type of protection. There are lots of free antivirus products available, but it is best to pay from something of higher quality if you are serious about your security. There are plenty of great options to choose from, and they can come with additional functions like file backup in the cloud, anti-phishing technology, and parental control.