Computer viruses like their counterparts in human body, replicate themselves through time to the point that no space is left for your data anymore. To make the matters worse, some viruses like “Chernobyl” are known to have the power to destroy the hardware of your computer. In order to prevent such devastating a loss, you need to take preventative measures to prevent your computer from catching virus, malware or Trojan at the very first place. The phrase “Prevention’s better than a cure” seems to make more sense now.
I am going to share 10 tips here that may help you protect your personal computer from viruses before it’s too late.
Tip #1: Keep yourself up-to-date about different kinds of viruses lurking around
Make research and spend some time learning about different viruses; how would you take the preventative measures if you do not know what kind of viruses are lurking around these days?
Tip #2: Install antivirus software and keep it up-to-date
To arm you with the best of antivirus softwares is the first thing to do but it’s not enough. To combat against the hundreds of threats that are produced daily, the virus definitions of the program would have to be updated regularly. Check and make sure that the automatic update option of the software is not turned off.
Tip #3: Run a complete scan at least once a week
Running a scan would slow down your computer for a while; so, set up the schedule in your antivirus software to run the scan late at night or when you are away. The point is, that you should run a scan at least once a week.
Tip #4: Be careful while attaching any storage device to your computer
The most common way the viruses are transferred from one computer to another is through the removable storage devices like USB flash drive. The common misconception is that the virus would not infect the host computer unless the user tries to access the files on that flash drive. Viruses and other malware are auto start programs; they automatically start running as soon as the USB stick is put in to the computer.
Tip #5: Avoid the websites that contain suspicious software downloads
Simply avoid visiting vulgar sites. Vulgar sites are those with illegal software downloads, adult content, obscene material, free cracks and serials. Then there are those foreign sites where everything is written in what seems to be ancient runes; beware of them as well, to be on the safe side.
Tip #6: Perform regular windows updates
Don’t show carelessness in performing regular windows updates and regularly check if your operating system is in need of any. Recent “windows updates history” would let you know what updates have been installed on your computer and would help get rid of unwanted ones. If you can’t manage making regular check yourself, configure and use “automatic updates” feature of the windows.
Tip #7: Be careful while opening e-mails
Do not bother to open the e-mails from unknown senders. Add all the people you know in your address book, this will help a lot in identifying a spam and would save you a lot of trouble. Never download or open attachments unless you have no doubt about them being safe.
Tip #8: Avoid peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs
P2P sharing has 100 risks associated with it, counting a few, you may accidentally end up sharing your personal information if extra care is not taken, your downloaded content may bring with it viruses and malware dangerous for your computer, spyware programs like keystroke logger may transmit sensitive and important information about your computer and its usage to a third party. And the list goes on.
The point is while it’s impossible to avoid P2P sharing; preventative measures should be well in place to make sure that you are safe from all the associated risks.
Tip #9: Be careful while downloading files from websites
Do not risk downloading the stuff you are in need of from any site offering free downloads. If you are interested in particular brand’s chipset drivers, Google the name of that brand and download them from that manufacturer’s site.
Tip #10: Enable firewall on your computer
Make sure that your firewall is turned on if you do not want hackers get access to the data on your computer. Firewall can be either hardware based or software based; having both hardware and software based firewall in place is much better than having either of them alone.
You may either use window’s inbuilt firewall or a third party’s solution; anyway, make sure that it’s turned on.