In today's world, the internet has become a necessity and is used for almost every purpose. You want to buy something; you use the internet. You want to eat something; you order from the internet. You want to watch something; you stream it on the internet. Further, from playing games to book flight tickets to even social gatherings, we depend entirely on the internet to fulfill our basic needs.
Naturally, in all the above processes, we, sometimes willingly and sometimes non-willingly, provide our crucial private information to various websites.
The modern cybercriminals are always on their toes to somehow get hands-on our information and use them maliciously. For that, they need a medium to release their malware programs and fetch data. The best mediums are, of course, our devices such as mobile phones and computers. We store many private data on our devices like login credentials, bank information, and others.
Hackers and spammers look for the vulnerabilities on our computer for the attack. It is essential to keep our system ready for any type of cyberattacks.
In this guide, we would discuss ways to protect our computers from hackers and viruses.
Use Antimalware Programs
Antimalware security programs are one of the must-have apps on any device running on the internet. Though Windows 10 comes with an excellent in-built security solution, known as Microsoft Defender. Ideally, suppose your most work is internet dependent. In that case, it is better to get a third-part robust security solution that can safeguard your system from the traditional and modern threats such as Trojans, ransomware, and browser hijackers, and others. If you want to cover all your family member's devices, you can choose the family pack from Bitdefender, which protects the 15 devices with a single purchase.
Other than that, there are more robust security solutions such as MalwareFox, which can provide you with all-around security.
Enable the Firewall
Windows 10 and macOS come with the built-in firewall protection that protects your information from the internet world and blocks unauthorized access. By default, Windows OS and macOS firewalls are kept off. As soon as you buy a new device for yourself, you must enable the firewall on it. On your device, periodically ensures that the firewall is kept enabled.
If you have a large business, you can also purchase a more secure and advanced firewall from companies like Cisco, Fortinet, and others.
Use Strong Passwords
When you keep a strong password for login into any of your accounts, you automatically decrease the chances of a hacking attempt. Creating a unique and robust password would eliminate the risk of getting your password cracked using common measures such as brute force.
Hackers have many tools in their arsenal for cracking passwords. For creating a strong password, use alphanumerical and special sign combinations. Also, don't ever reuse your passwords on multiple accounts, if possible.
If you find it stressful to create and remember the long and unique passwords, get a traditional password manager that can create as well as save the passwords for you.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
A strong password is good for security purposes, but the second security layer is even better and would boost the protection. Many email service providers, such as Gmail, use the two-factor authentication for verifying the account. In two-factor authentication, the user is usually asked to verify himself with other methods too after entering the correct password. That other method could be OTP on the registered mobile number, a security question, or passcode sent on the verified device.
Although this process seems time-consuming, it is always advised to enable it, especially on most important accounts such as banking accounts.
Keep Your System Updated
Windows frequently provide the cumulative updates to its system. However, many users find it irritating and skip updates. Ignoring the updates for a longer period can be disastrous for your system. Through regular updates, Microsoft provides the latest security patches for tackling the newest threats. By not installing the updates, you are making your system vulnerable to those threats.
Apart from the operating system updates, it is also essential to regularly update the applications and browsers, whenever available.
An outdated app can be a potential gateway to malware. Either update the apps or remove them if they are not in use.
Follow Healthy Browsing Practices
Browsers are the gateway for the malware to enter your system. Mostly malware enters your device because of careless browsing. You must follow these healthy browsing practices to keep your system safe from malicious attacks.
- Always avoid intriguing pop-up and banner ads. They are deliberately made tempting so that users get attracted and click to it. As soon as you click such ads, one or multiple malware programs would silently begin to install on your system in the background.
- Never open the email attachments from an unknown sender. They are mostly spam to introduce the malware on your system.
- Avoid downloading any application from the unknown or unverified sources. Most freeware are the malware carrier.
- While browsing any website, make sure that it is a secure one, that is, it must be equipped with an SSL certificate for encryption. If the URL contains HTTPS, it is secured with the SSL. If it includes HTTP, it is not a secure URL. It is recommended never to provide any details on it and leave it quickly.
- Be careful what links or buttons you are clicking on. Phishing attacks are being carried out by creating illicit links or fake login pages. The phony login pages are designed exactly like the original ones so that users cannot find it suspicious and willingly type their login credentials.
Back up Your System
Always try to back up your system regularly. If backing up the whole system is impossible, at least ensure that all the essential files and folders are backed up.
Backing up the system would greatly help you in case of system failure because of hacking or virus attacks. It would also nullify the ransomware attack attempt.
There are many options for backing up your important data. You can either use the modern approach of backing up on the cloud or the traditional method of backing up on the hard drives.
In the case of the non-backup data theft, you can also try some data recovery software.
As it is said, prevention is better than cure; preventing your system from the online attack is better than recovering it from the attack. Cybercriminals would always try to find the loopholes on your system to get an entry; it is up to you how you can tackle them. As explained in this guide, it is not a major task to secure your system. You just have to follow a few security measures, install essential security programs, and always be attentive while browsing the internet.