The problem with personal computers is the fact that they are always being hacked. Well, not really, but there are some vulnerabilities in the PC world that users should be aware of so that they don’t fall prey to online schemes, hacks, malware, and other baddies floating around the internetsphere.
Most people think that all they have to do is slap an antivirus software program on their machine and they are bulletproof. This is a great idea, and everyone SHOULD use an antivirus software program no matter what, but it’s not the only thing that you should be doing. You really need to have a bigger strategy in order to prevent some of the bad things that can happen besides viruses.
First of all, did you know that it’s not only viruses that can wreak havoc on your computer? There are also these pesky things called malware, adware, spyware, and other ransomware type programs. These are often “program-like” enough to slip by antivirus programs. However they can be just as destructive if not moreso. I highly recommend that you install an antimalware software program such as Spyhunter 4. I was skeptical about this program until I read this review of Spyhunter 4 on Martinus Tech and decided it was worth a shot. It got rid of this adware on my computer faster than I could have done on my own.
In order to avoid viruses and malware at all you should generally try to avoid shady websites and internet neighborhoods. This includes adult sites, gambling, hacking, and free download sites. These tend to be prime areas where you’re more likely to get infected with something. If you simply must go to those websites I highly recommend that you just get a dedicated netbook for the job.
Another thing that you might want to do is to stay up to date on the latest threats going around by bookmarking a few tech security blogs. This way you’ll always know what to watch out for. This is especially important for businesses to do in order to alert employees about how to detect phishing scams. Phishing and “Spear phishing” scams are becoming the most popular form of infiltrating businesses.
Ransomware is another threat that has been taking out entire businesses lately. The best way to prevent losing data to one of these schemes is to ensure that you’re running a good data backup program. I highly recommend a two-pronged approach to data backups. You should back up to a local hard drive, and you should also back up to a cloud based account. This way you’ll have two forms of the backup in case something happens to one or the other. The cloud based backup is your insurance in case something terrible happens to both your computer AND your hard drive such as theft or a fire. Most people don’t give enough credit to the value of backing up your data, but trust me it only takes losing important data one time in order to really drive the point home. And you don’t really want to be in that position.
I can’t recommend Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 4 enough. In fact, I’m writing this post on my SP4 right now! I’ve never been so excited about a piece of technology like this in a long time. Here’s a show that outlines the pros and cons of this device!
The internet is a scary place. Well, maybe that statement is a bit hyperbole. The fact is, however, that the internet is still somewhat of a wild west, and you have to do what you can to protect your valuable data. Hackers and security threats loom on the horizon like bands of ruthless natives and wild animals. You must secure your property lest they become ravaged by the digital pirates of this age.
First of all you should have a decent antivirus software program on board. This means that you should definitely install something quality. This is one area that I would not skimp on. I like stuff from Norton such as Norton 360, however the San Diego based company ESET is also a good option to look into. Whatever you choose, ensure that it’s running all the time. That means active time protection is a must! This will protect you the most when you are browsing the interwebs.
I also suggest that you invest in antimalware software tool, however this might be something that you could put off until you suspect you have malware installed on your computer. Malware is a bit less intrusive and dangerous than a virus, but only a bit. There are a few malware programs out there that are quite dangerous, such as ransomware. The thing is, sometimes malware gets past the antivirus programs because they act like legitimate programs – not viruses.
Another strategy to use is to ensure that you’re always up to date on your software updates. This can be made much easier if you allow automatic updates on your software. This prevents you from forgetting to update or putting it off. The thing is, most software updates for things like your internet browser, Adobe Flash, and Java are to patch security holes! If you don’t update your browser you are open to known security risks.
Of course you can never be too careful, and in the event that something bad happens you’ll be glad if you’ve taken the time to implement a good data backup strategy. I highly recommend that you look into BackBlaze or Crash Plan. Both of these plans are comparable, however I’ve been a fan of BackBlaze for a while. These will store a consistently updated off-site cloud based backup of all of your data. Obviously this won’t be a perfect solution for everybody but you’ll have to assess your personal data needs in order to make a decision.
Lastly I can’t recommend to people enough that they steer clear of internet bad neighborhoods. These are the parts of the internet that are considered “seedy” and seem to be prime places to pick up a virus or other type of malware. I’m talking about sites like download sites, free video sites, adult and gambling sites, and hacking communities. These are prime areas and you never seem to come away from sites like those without a virus of some sort. So, if you MUST go to those sites you might want to just buy a cheap netbook for the purpose and leave the rest of your important stuff out of it.