9 Steps to Protect your Microsoft Windows Computer from Viruses, Malware and Spyware. Keep your computer running like when it was new and keep your data safe.
Nowadays as the Internet and other networks are greatly developed computer viruses are distributed rapidly and intensively. Any Windows computer can be easily infected and tons of data is lost because of lack of prevention.
Everyday several new viruses capable to damage considerably your computer system arise. Malware specialists work every day to make updates to their software against new viruses as soon as possible. The viruses can get inside computer in different ways and sometimes it does not take much for this to happen.
That is why there is no simple method to protect your system. Only a series of measures can give you reliable protection from the infection. Below are 9 steps to protect Microsoft Windows based PC system from viruses, this applies to Laptop and Desktop of all brands.
1. Make Regular Computer Backups
It should be said that there is no absolutely safe way of protection. Virus creators regularly find holes in new computer products to use them for infection of computer systems.
Some dangerous viruses can considerably damage data files or even erase entire file system. Make regular backups of your data files to separate file storage device. It can be separate hard drive, flash card, compact disc or another file storage device which you choose. To ease the procedure you can use some automatic backup software. And be ready if the system will die because of virus infection.
A lot of External Hard drives provide software that can automatically backup your data, however this can easily be done with just about any external SSD or spinning drive, just purchase one online and make it a habit of backup at least once a month.
Here are the folders to backup:
- My Documents
- My Photos
More advanced software can backup your entire Windows OS however your most important data lives n those folders, back them up regularly.
2. Be ready to reinstall your system (OS) if it fails because Malware
Get backups of your operation system and a backup of of software which you use and keep them together, for instance, on a set of CDs not far away from you. In this case if virus infection will cause unrecoverable system failure you can rapidly reinstall your working medium.
Luckily for us, most Software companies provide a licensed download if you purchased a copy and your Windows Operating System recovery is built in to your computer like HP and IBM computers.
3. Protect your Network Connections with Windows Firewall
Firewall is a software which blocks suspicious potentially dangerous connections to preventing viruses from network to penetrate into your system. Windows 10 system has built in simple but reliable firewall that protect your system from external attacks.
You can enable it as follows:
1) in Control Panel, double-click Networking and Internet Connections, and then click Network Security.
2) Right click the connection on which you would like to enable firewall, and then click Properties.
3) On the Advanced tab, check the option to Protect my computer and network.
If you need more flexible control of connections with network you can get and install more advanced firewall software like Norton Personal Firewall or Pal Alto Firewall. If you use this software you have ability to permit or to block particular connections and to monitor network activity. However this for a normal computer user is not necessary.
4. Use Antivirus and Spyware Removal Software
Install antivirus software which will scan your system searching and erasing viruses on a regular basis. Leaders in antivirus software products for Windows 10 systems are Norton Antivirus, McAfee, Malwarebytes Anti Virus and Spybot.
If you do not wish to spend any extra money Windows 10 does have built in security software
5. Regularly Update your Windows 10 Operating System
Windows 10 has built in automatic update services. It regularly contacts Microsoft servers to find updates and notifies you if updates are ready to be installed. Updates are important because hackers regularly find holes in operating system which are often used by virus creators.
If you get notified by you OS that there are updates ready to install, make sure that you update it.
6. Don’t install and don’t run suspicious software and remove bloatware
Check new programs which you are going to install with your antivirus software. Don’t download software from suspicious websites. To download software always seek website of software creator or official distributor. Do not open applications received by email from unknown persons.
If your computer came with a lot of software (bloatware) that you do not need, feel free to remove it. Here is how:
7. Limit access to your computer and use a strong password
Protect enter to system with password, specially a long password. We highly recommend that you use a password that is at least 12 characters and that you use caps, numbers and special signs. This will prevent unauthorized access to your computer.
You can use a strong password generator for your net password.
8. If you use Internet Explorer, consider moving to another more secure Web Browser
As IE is the most distributed browser today virus creators actively use defects in its security system to infect computers. The more popular a web browser is, the more of a target that it becomes.
Infection may arise if you will visit websites which contains invisible harmful code. You are more safe if you use less known browser only because virus creators do not pay much attention to it. Major IE competitors like Firefox and Opera browsers provide now the same comfortable interface and range of services for working on the Web. Another more secure option is to download Google Chrome.
9. Use email SPAM Protection
Viruses are often distributed via email. Switch on spam filters in your email box to block spam receiving. If you need assistance with using of the filters you can ask your email service provider.
Consider the following before opening that email:
- Do I know the sender?
- Am I expected this document?
- Are they asking me to click a link?
- Are they asking me to enter my password?
- Does the email and domain not look legit?
Always ask these questions before taking action on any unsolicited email.
Protecting your Windows Laptop or Desktop pays off
Your computer is one of your most important assets in your home, office or your business. Not only do you keep your favorite photos or your music library, but you also keep records, important Documents and password, preventing a Malware attack before it happens will save you a headache in the future.
Sure, you can always buy a new computer or reinstall Windows, however if your computer gets compromised your most important data could be a risk.
It only takes a few steps and some preparedness to maintain a healthy and secure computer.
Cyber security does not have to be this complicated technological thing that only experts can do, anyone can do it and so can you!