The majority of us spend almost the entire day online, but have you ever wondered how safe you are on the internet? There are many threats such as viruses, spyware, and malware lurking behind every corner. Internet safety should be very important to you because a single antivirus program might not be enough to protect you from identity theft or phishing. We hear about new viruses every single day, so it is important to be aware of what you are dealing with. Here are a couple of useful tips that will help you with internet safety and computer protection.
- Don’t ignore the firewall
Firewall is an important piece of software that you could use to improve your internet safety. You can visualize it as a block standing between your computer and the internet. You will be in charge of telling the firewall which data to let through, and which to keep away from your machine. If you use a router in order to access the internet, keep in mind that you are already protected by its own firewall. However, you can always turn on the firewall on your computer as well. Windows made it easy because all of the latest versions of this operating system have their own built-in firewalls.
- Update regularly
You might find all of those Windows update notifications annoying, but having the latest version of the operating system is crucial for improving internet safety. It is a simple step that might take a couple of minutes, but you can be certain that a virus cannot use any vulnerabilities in the system in order to get in. Besides Windows updates, make sure your antivirus is running the latest version as well. The majority of antivirus programs update automatically, but you should check them occasionally just to confirm you have the newest edition.
- Know what you are dealing with
Being smart about the dangers on the internet will bring your safety to a whole new level. For instance, when you receive an email from an unknown sender, don’t open the attached files. The same goes for any link you might get through your mail. Don’t click on it unless you are completely sure it is safe. Also, using free software is tricky because some programs might arrive with the unwanted files such as viruses and malware. Make sure that the software you decide to use does not have anything else attached to it.
- Multiple accounts
This tip can be useful for anyone who shares their computer with a sibling or a family member. Create a separate account just for them. Therefore, if a harmful file gets downloaded on another account, it will not alter your system files, and you will deal with it quicker. Viruses and malware often need administrator’s account to fully enter your system. Also, make sure that the antivirus is running on both accounts. It should be on autopilot and work in the background. Don’t forget to mention to other users not to turn off the antivirus while they are using on your computer.
- Be careful with external storage devices
Connecting an external storage device such as USB or an SD card can be quite dangerous because it might have picked up a virus or any type of malware from another device. You never know what might lurk on it, especially if you have used the same USB on multiple computers in the past. Therefore, don’t forget to scan the device with your antivirus software before you access the files on it. Of course, some antivirus programs do scan these devices automatically, but it is best to do it on your own every single time just to make sure everything is in order and that there is no malware on the device. Some users might disconnect their computer from the internet when using an external storage device, but a virus can still get through even if you are offline.
An antivirus should be the basis of your internet security, but you definitely shouldn’t stop there. Always update your system, and don’t hesitate to put the firewall on. Not to forget that you need to recognize the hazardous files you might receive via email or messages. Having good internet security is not difficult – just be cautious and don’t click on every link you see.