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.