Cyber threats are increasing day by day, and these threats are more dreadful than at any other time in history. But you don’t need to fear these threats. If you have some basic knowledge and take precautions while using your PC and accessing the internet you can keep your PC secure.
There are many ways that hackers use to harm your computer some of the most common methods are-
- Trojan virus
- Wiper malware
- Fileless malware
- Application or website manipulation
- Software supply chain attacks
These are the most common types of attacks that PC users face these days. But there are some tips and tricks that you can follow to keep your computer security intact.
10 Ways to Keep Your Computer Security Intact:
1. Keep Your Browser and Operating System Updated
Nowadays operating systems and browsers are very advanced. They have some reliable inbuilt security features. If you are using an older version of OS and browsers then you might be missing those security features. So, it is essential to keep your browsers and OS updated to have the latest security features.
Also, older versions are vulnerable to hacking attacks because they have some known bugs. While in the latest versions software developers fix those bugs and improve the security.
There are many private web browsers that you can use to stop your data from being tracked by websites. Also, you can use browsers like Chrome that have advanced security features.
2. Back up your computer
Having a data backup is always good. Precaution is always better than the cure. If somehow your system is compromised and you lose your data then the backup will save you.
Windows and macOS have inbuilt data backup facilities you can use these. Also, having an external disk with your data backed up will be a better choice.
Also cloud backup is an excellent and cheaper solution these days. Cloud backups are secure and very convenient.
3. Download External Software Carefully
If you want to install software to perform some task on your PC then you need to be extra careful. There are some steps that you should always follow before installing software or app on your computer-
- Background Check: Perform a background check for the app. Just Google the name of the software + “Malware” or “Virus” and check if there is an alarming article about the software.
- Use Virustotal: VirusTotal is an online tool to check if any software has viruses or malware in the build. Just copy and paste the download URL or you can upload the .exe file on this tool before installing. If the tool has found some virus then you should not install that software.
- Read Reviews: Before downloading a third-party software you should read expert reviews about that software on trustworthy websites like TechRadar, G2, Capterra, CNet, TechSpot, SoftAppWorld, etc.
These are the tips that you should follow before installing a program on your PC.
4. Don’t Use Unsecure Wi-Fi:
It is very common these days to get free Wi-Fi. Commonly these are available at coffee shops, public libraries, and public commute stations. There are high chances that these wi-fi hotspots are compromised.
So, you should avoid using these free wi-fi hotspots.
5. Don’t Use Public Laptop Charging Points:
Many security magazines have warned people against juice jacking that happens at public charging points.
What is juice jacking?
Image Source: factsmgt.com
Juice Jacking is a security breach in which hackers use USB charging stations to infect your device be it mobile or PC.
There have been found many compromised USB charging points at airports. So, you should always avoid these USB charging stations, Always charge at your home.
6. Shut Down Devices When Unused
You should shut down your device when you don’t use it or when you are not around your device. This method may look silly but it is a very bad habit that many people have. For example, you are working in your office and leave your computer to get coffee or water.
In such situations, you should at least Lock your device.
7. Block Your USB Ports
Windows System has inbuilt features to enable/disable the ports of your computer. You might be extra careful on the internet and use all the firewalls while visiting any website. But, what if someone infects your PC using your USB ports?
So, it is wise to keep your USB ports locked with passwords. These days some antivirus software also come with USB protection features. So, if you are planning to install an antivirus software make sure it has protection for USB ports.
8. Be Careful With Links and Attachments on Email
Phishing is very common and one of the oldest techniques that hackers use to steal your data.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a technique in which hackers send you an email or SMS with a malicious link. If you click on this link it will install malware on your PC and you won’t know about this.
This malware will send all the personal information from your PC to scammers and you will get into huge trouble.
The best way to safeguard from phishing is to avoid opening malicious emails. And if you want to open the mail think twice before clicking any link attached with the mail.
9. Use Strong Passwords
Using weak passwords may make you an easy target for scammers. If you keep passwords that are easy to guess then someone could track them and harm you a lot.
What are weak passwords?
- Your date of birth
- College Name
- Parents name
- School Name
- The date you entered the college.
- The date you passed your college
- Keeping one password for all of your accounts
- Any other date which is known to everyone
- Passwords with no special characters and special cases
For convenience, you can use password manager tools. These tools can keep your passwords in highly encrypted form so only you can access them.
You just need to remember one password to unlock the password manager tool.
10. Use On-Screen Keyboard:
You should use an on-screen keyboard If you are logging in your passwords on a device that is not yours i.e. office computers, cyber cafes, etc. Also, using an on-screen keyboard is a good choice when you are entering passwords for something highly sensitive like your bank website.
The reason behind using an on-screen keyboard is to save you from keyloggers.
What are keyloggers?
Keyloggers are malware that can record keys pressed by you on a keyboard. These keyloggers will send your key logs to hackers, hence you will lose your passwords if you have entered them with an infected keyboard.
These are the top 10 ways to keep your computer security intact. If you follow these tips and tricks it could save you from a lot of trouble. Along with this if you find anything suspicious online you need to take a step back.
Antivirus and Antimalware software are very efficient these days but even these software are ineffective if you don’t take precautions.