The global cost of cybercrime has now reached as much as $3 trillion — about 3 percent of global GDP. The number is expected to double by 2021
In today’s modern world the internet proves to be the best communication medium for everyone. Even though it has many advantages, it also has a few drawbacks which the users need to be aware of to steer clear from the online danger. Malware, viruses, worms, ransomware come in many forms to achieve their nefarious goals.
Keeping your computer secure helps you avoid malware and direct hacking attempts designed to steal your personal information. Here are some ways you can help reduce your online risk when you use your computer at home.
5 Ways to Keep Your Computer Safe from Viruses and Cyber-Attacks.
Browse the web safely
The major security threat to your computer is the internet. Avoid visiting sites that offer potentially illicit content. Many of these sites install malware on the fly or offer downloads that contain malware.
Use a modern browser like Microsoft Edge or Chrome, which can help block malicious websites and prevents malicious code from running on your computer.
Pro Tip: Use an adblocker like uOrigin which can be installed as a plugin on your Google Chrome browser. This plugin will take care of the annoying pop-ups and ads.
Never Install file/software coming from unreliable sources
Scan before install
If you have antivirus software installed, it’ll automatically scan the software for harmful viruses. If you’re using Windows 10, then you don’t need third-party antivirus software(Microsoft claims this). But, to be more secure I advise you to buy one!
Only download from sites/companies you trust
Knowing who to trust is a difficult problem. My recommendation is to avoid downloading from third parties. If a piece of software is created by XYZ corp, then download it directly from XYZ corp’s website.
Stay away from illegal software
You might be lured by the idea that a premium software is being offered for free on some third party site, but the risks should stop you from proceeding. Illegal software is lucrative because it’s free or dirt cheap. Virus creators know this and often use it as an opportunity to distribute their wares.
Protect your Passwords
I really suck at remembering passwords, and changing it now and then is really tiring. But, this negligence shouldn’t compromise with your security.
If you don’t want to memorize multiple passwords, consider using a password manager. The best password managers will automatically update stored passwords, keep them encrypted, and require multi-factor authentication for access.
It’s recommended to change your password
- After a service discloses a security incident.
- There is evidence of unauthorized access to your account.
- There is evidence of malware or other compromises of your device.
- You shared access to an account with someone else and they no longer use the login.
- You logged in to the account on a shared or public computer (such as at a library or hotel).
- It’s been a year or more since you last changed the password, especially if you don’t have multi-factor authentication enabled.
Do not use USBs or other external devices unless you own them
To avoid infection by malware and viruses, ensure that all external devices either belong to you or come from a reliable source. Scan your USB sticks before copying or writing to it.
Don’t open suspicious attachments or links that appear too good to be true
They can appear in emails, tweets, posts, online ads, messages, or attachments, and sometimes disguise themselves as known and trusted sources.
If you see a deal for 90% off The Mac Book Pro, it very well could be a knock off. Even worse, some sites are known to lure customers in with an amazing deal, and once they have your credit card information they’re never to be heard from again – your identity may be compromised and there’s not even a product to show for it. The simple rule of thumb here is: If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.
Most remedies are nothing more than damage control once malware arrives.
So, the best defense is… you. You are both the weakest link and the strongest hope for security. Be skeptical, take the time, and make the effort to stay secure.