How to Avoid Viruses on Your Computer

Last week when we discussed how to backup your computer’s files, we talked about how losing your files in a computer crash (without having backed them up) is one of the most stressful events one can encounter with their gadgets. Today, we’re talking about another one of these stressful happenings — when your computer gets infected with a virus.

If you have ever had this happen to you, you know the terrible feeling of not being in control of your device. You don’t have the time to deal with trying to repair it, especially if you rely heavily on your computer for work and other purposes. This is where taking preventative measures to protect your device from these attacks come in.

With recent outbreaks of ransomware and other viruses affecting companies all over the world (more on that later), it has become imperative to protect your devices, your company, and yourself from attacks. Here are a few quick tips for avoiding viruses:

  • Install an antivirus software.

The first step in keeping your computer virus-free is installing a trusted antivirus/malware protection software. This is essential for all PC users, and even though Macs are harder to target, it always helps to be protected. There are many free and paid programs out there that are easy to install and can protect your computer. Make sure to update the program regularly to keep it up to date with the newest viruses that are constantly emerging. In addition, you need to run a thorough virus scan at least twice every month.

  • Keep your operating system up to date.

Like antivirus software, your computer’s operating system is constantly being updated to include new ways to keep your computer secure. OS developers are always issuing security “patches” that plug security leaks that may arise. By regularly updating your operating system, you can take advantage of the most current and secure system.

  • Think before clicking.

Even if you are running on a brand new operating system and your antivirus software is on point, that is only half the battle. The rest of maintaining a virus-free computer is being extremely careful with which links you click, files you download, and websites you visit. You’ll want to avoid websites that provide pirated files and material — like those sketchy websites that provide “free” movies and music — that can cause popups or prompt you to download malware.

Another way many people fall victim to computer viruses is through email. Never open an email attachment or link sent by someone you do not know. However, even people you know can have hacked emails, so be very careful with what you click on. Always hover over a link (especially if it is shortened) to see where the link is actually taking you. Consider the subject line, message, and link, and if anything at all looks out of the ordinary, do not click on it. These malicious attachments and links can hack into your email or even worse, infect your computer with a virus.

Make Computer Protection a Priority

Taking preventative measures to protect your computer is crucial for avoiding viruses and malware. Think about it — you have car insurance in case of an accident and health insurance in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. Why not take these measures to protect your devices as well? Have more questions about how to protect your device? Feel free to reach out to the IT experts here at Integracon for more tips and tricks for keeping your device clean and secure.