Essential Tips to Keep Your PC Safe and Secure

Since their arrival, computers have been beneficial to businesses, offices, institutions, and private use. They have also helped in automating almost every function, including buying and selling goods and services. Despite their operations and help, computers are always at risk. Several threats target computers, including malware, viruses, and other threats, mostly for online activities. Statistics have revealed that at least 30% of computers are at danger every day, making it very important to have them safe and secure. How do you do this? Here are some of the effective ways of keeping your computer safe.

1. Install Antivirus Software

Your computer firewall is not as enough to safeguard your computer from online attacks and other threats. There is a need to install powerful antivirus software. Once you buy your laptop, it’s always advisable to install an antivirus immediately before using it, especially when doing online transactions. The antivirus should be kept in check always and should be changed or renewed once it expires. Most of the antivirus software have a shelf-life of one year, in which they need to be renewed or changed with new versions. If you don’t have enough cash to purchase advanced antivirus, free ones are available for free download over the internet. Getting advanced software enables you to track websites and threats, including spyware, malware, Trojans, and others that attack your computer and slow down its processes.

2. Be Selective on Sites

If you want to keep your computer safe and secure, be selected on sites that you visit. Some sites aren’t safe, and getting into them might hack or destroy your computer security system, making you vulnerable to all types of computer threats. If you have a reliable antivirus, they can prevent you from getting into unsafe sites, but not all. You need to check on the red signs, especially when dealing with credit cards and other payment forms. Always open recommended sites that have been used before; they are secure and trusted. Unsafe websites that you should avoid at all costs include gambling sites, porn sites, promotional sites, click baits with no content, and others. They are always prone to viruses.

3. Use the Recommended Software and Apps

Many apps and software have risen due to technology changes and growth, providing their users with several services. Most of these apps and software are free to download while others, which offer premium services, require subscriptions. Before downloading any app or software, make sure they are genuine. Software and apps including VDownloader have been used and recommended by many for their services, and it would be wise to use software that has already proved its quality. Some software and apps shouldn’t be trusted. You might download them to your PC and corrupt it with viruses or malware. Some end up attacking certain functions of your computer, rendering it useless. Be careful on what you download and check other extras that come with the downloaded software and apps. 

4. Don’t be fooled by Promotions

With so many businesses and brands running online to market their goods, scammers are also targeting the same traffic to offer you harmful clickbaits that get information from your computer. Do not be fooled by any deal you see online. Some deals may appear so enticing and exciting, and when you click on them, they redirect you to another unfamiliar page. If you see anything suspicious with the clicks, log out immediately and clear the browser. Some might be fraudsters who target your credit card information once you commit yourself to make payments online. Other than trying to wipe your credit card amount, they might end up installing software to your computer, which will be used to steal or corrupt your data. Beware of everything you do online and if you must go shopping, use known and recommended sites.

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5. Always Disconnect your Internet

After a hard day’s work or after using their computers, most people always leave them connected to the internet. While sometimes it’s essential for timely updates of software, it is hazardous. Make a habit of disconnecting your computer after you are done working online. This action reduces your computer’s chances of being infected with malware and viruses when you aren’t around. While people always argue about having firewalls and antiviruses, you can’t be sure if they are working efficiently. Their work is to reduce attacks and might not wholly prevent everything. Keeping the internet off prevents online fraudsters from accessing your computer through online logins. They won’t be able to find your PC if it’s offline. 

6.Add Site Blockers

Have you ever logged into a page and get a notification if you are sure of login into the page? That’s the work of firewalls and antiviruses, which prevents you from login into suspicious websites. You can also add site blockers to prevent your browser from assessing specific sites, depending on the selected keywords. Such keywords prevent you from accidental login into websites with malware, phishing, fraud, and scam threats. You can also program and customize these site blockers to prevent any website and apps from accessing your computer at any given time. Site blockers are also essential when you want to block pop up ads and other not recommended browser extensions. Getting this kind of security will prevent your computer from threats, especially when using the internet. 

7.Manage your Passwords

One way of keeping our computers safe and secure is by preventing it from physical attacks. You need to protect your computer from logins by unauthorized persons. How do you do this? It’s simple, by having a strong password to your computer. How do you get to have a strong password? It’s advisable to have a password that’s not easy to guess. Use a different password for each computer account and never share your password with anyone. Also, do not base your password with your date of birth, identification number, name, initials, and anything obvious. Choose a website that combines numbers, letters, and other features to make it strong and more secure. Security experts also recommended changing your password at least once in a month to tighten the security.

8. Filter Downloads

We always want to download everything that we find useful in the online world. We should note that not all downloads are safe, and some may end up costing you. Do not fall for every download you see online. When you have an excellent downloader, browser, and antivirus, they will prompt you if you need to make any download. Some may even inform you that whatever you are trying to download will harm your computer in one way or the other. Always adhere to such warnings. If the download is deemed as unsafe, leave it and go for something safe. Dangerous downloads may corrupt your computer or harm it in one way or the other. After getting the downloaded items, it’s recommended to scan them for viruses and other threats before using them on your computer.

9. Check on the Website Security

Before getting into any website, it’s recommended to check its URL and see if it’s secure. Do not visit any website that hasn’t been secured as it may be a threat to your computer. How do you know a website is secure? There are various ways of doing so. One way is by checking its URL. The URL will inform you if the website is protected or not, and mostly, it’s signified by a lock. A secure website has the lock closed while an unsecured one has an open lock. Go for websites that have encrypted communication. Open websites might be having viruses or other kinds of threats. Also, you need to check on the cookie information. Some websites may warn you to avoid cookies or have limited cookies for the best browsing experience. Those that don’t offer such notifications might be using cookies secretly to steal or capture your information. 

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10. Scan your Computer

After installing an antivirus, or using your computer for some time, it’s recommended to scan it for any threats. You are also required to monitor all devices that connect to your computer. Devices such as flash disks, smartphones, and other external hard disks need scanning before being used on your computer. The reason for scanning is to remove any threats that might damage your computer. Failing to scan them might affect your computer, documents, and other software in it. Run a full scan, and if there are threats, they need to be disinfected before using them. Overly infected devices must get ejected immediately and never to be used again on the computer until they are treated and suitable for use. A strong antivirus will be able to remove all viruses available in external hard drives and flash disks. 

11.Protect your Emails

Sometimes, we receive many emails without knowing their source or intentions. Such is rampant if you conduct your business online. Emails are mostly used by scammers and fraudsters to spread viruses and phishing software that corrupt or take your data, including credit card information. One way of protecting your email is by enabling the spam filter to filter any spam email or use antivirus and anti-spam protection to keep off spam emails. The antiviruses and anti-spam protections work by scanning your emails before you open them. They can remove the threats or warn you of opening the email if it’s loaded with lots of dangers. Another way of protecting email attacks is by avoiding links and unknown attachments that come to your email from new sources. Such links pretend to come from banks, promos, game lottery, insurance companies, and other related institutions.

12. Backup your Data

Sometimes, even after doing all the protections and security measures, we get attacked or lose our data. The situation worsens when we lose our computers or laptops through theft, damage, or other ways. What matters most at times is the data carried by these computers. It gets recommended to always back up your data to external devices such as flash disks and external hard disks. Also, you can back up your data via cloud storage. Instead of having many appliances, you can backup your data via cloud storage apps such as Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox. When your computer gets attacked, stolen, or blown by power, you will still recover your data through such backups. 

You can easily download the data again to another computer

13. Update your Operating System and Software

To help your computer be protected, it’s advisable to keep its software and apps updated. Most of the time, Software and app providers upgrade security systems to counter-attack threats. When you keep your software updated, it will become easier to deal with any danger since it will be updated to counter-attack the attacks. Other than the software, your antivirus needs to be up-to-date to work efficiently into protecting your computer. You can check for updates from time to time or enable the automatic update features available in most software and apps. These updates will ensure certain irregularities are fixed and increase the security to withstand threats targeting your computer. 

14. Check your Computer Firewall

Firewalls come installed on your computer and create a barrier between your computer and external threats and attacks. They prevent unauthorized programs from getting installed and accessing your computer. Modern computers have inbuilt firewalls, done by the manufacturer or system provider. When you purchase the PC, check if the firewalls are turned on and are working. Ensure they get updated regularly and that they are kept on every time the computer is in use. If you think the default one is not enough, you can install firewall security to add more protection to your computer. 

There are so many ways you can improve your computer software. Besides the list in this article, you can consider avoiding public Wi-Fi and other measures that your system seller might advise you. Also, you need to be taking your PC for regular maintenance and checking. The technicians will be able to check if your machine is working well. If there is suspicious software, they will be able to clean any threats, malware, and viruses present in your computer system. We hope this article will be helpful to you as you find ways to protect your PC.

PRIYA JAMES is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Certified Ethical Hacker, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at GBHackers On Cyber Security

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