As time goes by, we are depending more and more upon our devices to protect what matters most. From keeping track of our children’s locations to storing vital health information, we put a lot of faith into technological advances to keep our information and operations safe. However, while our devices are getting smarter, so are the criminals who must now find even craftier ways to break into them.
Whether you are protecting your home or office, here are 7 ways that you can ward off viruses and spyware…
7. Install a high-quality antivirus software
We live in a world where our devices are coming to us stocked with free antivirus software even before we bring them home. While this is a terrific selling point for most buyers, these free software programs do not offer substantial protection against more sophisticated threats like as rootkits.
Thanks to recent scares of the WannaCry virus which stopped many businesses, organizations and everyday operations in their tracks, it is more important than ever that every Windows user gets serious about protecting their devices and data. Installing a professional-grade antivirus software is every device owner’s first line of defense as these programs are able to keep up with new and emerging threats before they start. Because no two programs are alike, taking the time to understand the pros and cons of each option and making sure to choose a program from the best 10 antivirus software list will ensure that you make a good choice.
6. Disable previews of images in Outlook
If you are using Outlook… lookout for image previews that increase your chance of contracting virus. Enabling image previews can put you at risk for viruses, phishing attempts and other threats that are executed with the help of a graphics code. Newer versions of Outlook do not display image previews automatically. However, if you are using any version of Outlook prior to 2007, you will need to manually change these security settings by going to Tools.
5. Do not click on email attachments or links
This holy grail of advice is some that even the most primitive tech user knows by heart. However, when these links and attachments come from trusted friends, colleagues, and family members, we often click on them without thinking twice. Skilled bots and hackers are capable of spoofing email addresses and even infiltrating authentic email accounts to do their bidding. This increases the chances of spreading destructive viruses and dangerous phishing attempts to a larger network of devices. Just one clicked link can be responsible for a massive virus outbreak within your network or contact list.
4. Be a smart surfer
Installing a browser plug-in in combination with an antivirus software can help to ensure that you surf only trusted websites. Because even dangerous sites can look authentic, these browser plug-ins can spot sites known to cause trouble and prevent access.
3. Perform daily scans
Despite your antivirus software’s best efforts, occasionally threats can slip through the cracks. In fact, as virus capabilities continue to advance, it is almost inevitable that a virus will sneak through at some point in the life of your device. Enabling daily scans can help to lessen device vulnerability and improve your chances of keeping your data safe.
2. Keep programs current
One of the easiest ways to prevent attacks on your device is also one of the most ignored. From your Android system to anti-malware installments, keeping your program’s current can make all the difference in an escaped attempt and a full blown attack.
1. Disable autorun
Advanced viruses are capable of attaching themselves to drives and then spreading to other medias attached to the infected device. From thumb drives to external hard disks, disabling autorun takes only a minute and can save you days worth of damage control. Though each system will require different steps to disable autorun, Microsoft’s Knowledge Base articles can help you to decide which one is right for your device.
Viruses, spyware and other threats will continue to advance. However, when we take the time to put a conscious effort into protecting our devices, we can do everything that we can to ensure that our information stays safe… and virus-free.