There are plenty of different types of malware and viruses nowadays, and relying on a default computer set up to protect you is not enough.
Tech-savvy people can detect a potential threat almost immediately, and they should not have problems. But not everyone has enough experience to rely on themselves. Moreover, it may be that someone who is not aware of potential malware and viruses could be using your computer and infecting the system without even knowing about it.
In other words, it is necessary to have a proper cybersecurity strategy in hand. If you have been looking for some suggestions on creating an effective plan and giving yourself peace of mind, take the steps in this article.
Step #1 – Get Reliable Antivirus Software
Starting with reliable antivirus software is a good piece of advice. But do not limit yourself to just leaving the software in the background. While it should detect and eliminate most threats, it is also recommended to perform custom disk scans regularly. And, as one expects, remove any potentially corrupted files that the antivirus finds.
Step #2 – Be Smart About Passwords You Use
Macbook users may not be aware of Keychain access and accountsd – two tools that store and exchange login information. But even knowing what is a login keychain may not be enough to be smart about password creation and usage.
Whether you use a Mac, PC, or a smartphone, it is necessary to spend more time and come up with passwords that are actually difficult to crack. Avoid combinations like “password123” or “123password123” because they are too easy.
If you cannot come up with a strong password, use an online generator, and write the password on a piece of paper to memorize it. Also, do not use the same password for every account. If someone finds it out, they can access important profiles like emails and social media accounts.
Step #3 – Browse via VPNs
A virtual private network costs a couple of dollars per month, but they offer you access to geo-restricted content, internet anonymity, and security.
VPNs are particularly effective when you need to connect to public Wi-Fi available in places like cafes, hotels, or libraries. These public networks lack the necessary safety protocols that one can find in virtually every VPN service. In addition, you can also change your IP and surf the net as if you are in a different location.
Step #4 – Install Ad Blocker Extensions
Ad blocker browser extensions can be a life-saver in certain situations. Some sites are notorious for their aggressive ad policy, and they do not bother warning visitors how clicking on some ads redirect to a landing page full of malware.
Meanwhile, having an ad blocker eliminates most forms of advertisement you encounter online. Besides preventing potential cybersecurity threats, your overall internet experience should improve as well since you will not have to deal with ads.
Step #5 – Avoid Shady URLs
If a website link seems suspicious, do not risk and ignore it, even if you receive it from someone you know and trust. You should not have issues finding the same page using Google search if you want.
Step #6 – Keep the System up to Date
System updates may take some time to download and install, but they should still be one of the priorities if you want to avoid potential cybersecurity attacks.
While most associate OS updates with the latest features and basic performance improvements, one should not underestimate how much of a boost a new update can be to the computer’s security.
Malware creators are one step ahead, and those who work in cybersecurity need to react to make sure that the user devices have enough protection. Missing the most recent system update could mean exposure to the most recent malware. And only installing an OS update could fix this potential cybersecurity hole.
Step #7 – Create Data Backups
It is better to be safe than sorry. Instead of second-guessing what you would do if some malware wiped your data, why not create a backup and have fewer worries?
You can use cloud services like Dropbox and iCloud or purchase an external hard drive. There is no need to back up every file on the computer as you can install something like video games or software without issues. It is personal information, pictures, and important documents that should be the priority.
Step #8 – Limit Physical Access to the Computer
Living alone means that you should not have to worry about another person getting their hands on your computer. However, if someone else uses the computer, you cannot guarantee that they will not end up infecting it with malware.
Limiting physical access is one of the options, but you can also create a non-admin account and disable certain features, like accessing system files. It might not seem like much, but it can help prevent potential cybersecurity threats.