Last Updated: January 10, 2021
Despite the potential threats of computer malware, there are still plenty of people who do not bother taking even the most basic precautions to protect their devices.
Besides risking your computer performance, you may also expose personal information that may be used against you.
In case you feel like you have not been doing enough to protect yourself from cybersecurity threats, do not hesitate, and take action right away. The tips in this article should help you come up with a solid strategy to secure your computer.
1. Use Reliable Antivirus Software
Most cybersecurity strategies revolve around reliable antivirus software. The one you use should detect and eliminate potential threats before they manifest in the system.
Besides having the antivirus in the background consistently, you should get in the habit of running custom disk scans. The process may seem unnecessary, but it is an excellent way to prevent potential malware and virus attacks even more.
2. Be Smart About Passwords You Use
Coming up and memorizing complicated passwords is not something many people bother doing. Instead, they would stick to simple combinations of words and symbols, their birthdays, or names of people they love.
The problem is that simple passwords are easier to crack. And if you use the same passwords for multiple accounts, you are risking a lot.
Use password generators available online if you lack creativity. Memorizing a new password may take a while, so write it down on a piece of paper and keep it with you until you remember the password.
In addition, you should also change the passwords you use. And, as already mentioned, avoid using the same password for different profiles.
3. Avoid Shady URLs
Ignore any suspicious links even if you receive them from someone you know. There is no need to risk clicking on a URL that does not appear right. If you want to check it, use Google, and enter relevant words to find out whether it is real or fake.
4. Create Data Backups
Creating data backups is a good piece of advice in general. You do not know when something may happen to the hardware, and data recovery is not possible in some instances.
You have a few options. Some people stick to cloud services like Dropbox and iCloud. Others invest in external hard drives or memory sticks. It usually comes down to how much data there is to back up, as well as persona preferences. Go with what you like. The most important thing is to create data backups and give yourself some peace of mind.
5. Stick to Virtual Private Networks
VPNs come in handy when you want to remain anonymous while surfing the net. The incognito mode does not cut it anymore. Besides, virtual private networks also provide a feature to access geo-restricted content by giving you a different IP address. You join the internet as if you are from a different location.
As far as security goes, a virtual private network uses protocols that make it difficult to trace your history. And it is recommended to use VPNs when you access public Wi-Fi. The internet at cafes, hotels, libraries, and other public locations lacks the necessary security. Do not spring the trap that hackers might have set.
Otherwise, you will become a victim of a potential attack. Instead, use a virtual private network. After all, they cost a few dollars a month, which is a great deal considering what the services offer.
6. Limit Physical Access to the Computer
Limiting physical access to the computer might not be an issue if you live alone and do not take it away from home. However, there are people who travel often and need their laptop on the road.
If someone gets their hands on your computer, the least you can do is make it harder for them to access the contents on the laptop. Disable the auto-login feature. In fact, you should create a difficult password or even use something like a smartwatch as the only means to log in.
Some would argue that taking things this far is too much, but if you are concerned about the computer’s safety, there is no shame in taking such precautions.
7. Install Ad Blockers for Internet Browser
Each ad you click on while surfing the net could potentially redirect you to a malware-infested landing page. And even reliable antivirus software may not be enough to help you.
Some internet advertisements are quite aggressive, and people end up clicking on them involuntarily. An ad blocker extension that prevents ads from appearing is a good way to fight the problem.
Back in the day, when the flash player was used for playing multimedia files on the internet, there were many security compromises due to this player. Hijackers used flash files to break into a computer and that caused privacy leaks and potential threats. That’s the main reason today adobe flash player is completely removed over the internet.
8. Keep the OS Updated
While people associate operating system updates with the latest features and performance improvements, one should not underestimate what updates do for the computer’s security.
Missing an OS update puts the computer at risk. OS developers react to new threats and release security patches that block potential attacks. So even if an operating system update takes a while to download and install, you should still prioritize it.