Knowing that a computer is protected from malware attacks gives us peace of mind. However, not everyone is willing to invest time and put in the effort to prevent cybersecurity threats. They believe that the computer is safe for the most part.
However, the situation is quite different. If you neglect a computer’s cybersecurity, you will likely have to deal with various performance issues. Not to mention potentially exposing sensitive information.
There are multiple reasons why you may become the next target of a cyber attack. Taking precautions before that happens would be a good approach. Check the steps below and create a cybersecurity plan that you can follow.
Step #1 – Install Reliable Antivirus Software
One of the best troubleshooting methods, or rather, methods to avoid malware, is to have reliable antivirus software. If you tend to avoid shady links and other threats that could hurt your computer, using the default anti-malware tools is usually enough.
However, you do not need to take risks. Ask tech-savvy friends for some recommendations. If you do not know anyone with antivirus software knowledge, check reviews online.
The most important thing is to have the antivirus software running in the background all the time. It will detect and eliminate potential threats before they cause any harm to the computer.
Step #2 – Invest In A Virtual Private Network
Given how cheap virtual private networks are, getting one is worth it for more than just security. You can access geo-restricted content and hide your tracks. Anonymity is one of the VPN’s biggest advantages.
As for security, the services come in handy when you need to connect to public Wi-Fi one can find at cafes, hotels, or libraries. These public internet networks lack the necessary safety protocols and are a great spot for hackers to set their traps.
Unsuspecting people that join the network could expose their information. Meanwhile, those who browse via VPN can hide their track since they receive a different IP address.
Step #3 – Change Passwords Regularly
In addition to using complicated passwords instead of combinations like “password123”, you should also get in the habit of changing them regularly.
Not everyone has the patience to memorize new passwords each time, but they should. The longer you keep the same password for an account, the higher the odds of someone finding out and using it against you.
Even if it is a bother to sort through multiple accounts and memorize passwords, you should still try to do your best and regularly change them.
Step #4 – Limit Physical Access To The Computer
Trusting yourself and knowing how familiar you are with cybersecurity threats is one thing. But what about when someone else uses your computer? Guaranteeing for another person is not something you would be willing to do.
You do not have to stop them from using the computer. But if you have some worries about problems that may occur, limit some features. For example, you can create a separate non-admin account that does not have access to system files and certain websites.
Step #5 – Optimize Your Internet Browser
The internet is one of the likeliest places for you to catch a virus or malware. You can limit these risks by changing some of your internet browser’s things.
One feature that stands out a lot is ad blockers. Some sites are quite aggressive with their advertisements. Visitors end up clicking on them when they prefer not to just because an ad makes it impossible to continue browsing the website. And if a landing page of an ad is crawling with malware, even reliable antivirus software could not be enough to save you.
On the other hand, installing an ad blocker would stop those annoying pop-ups and other ad types from getting in your way. You or another person using the computer will not click on ads because they will not be there.
Step #6 – Install System Updates
While most people tend to associate system updates with the latest features and performance improvements, updates also introduce security benefits.
Fresh malware that poses a threat to your system will have a harder time getting on a computer if you have the latest OS version. OS developers react to cybersecurity threats and release updates that patch possible security holes.
Even if it takes a while to download and install a new system update, you should be patient and wait for the changes to apply before using the computer.
Step #7 – Create Data Backups
Creating data backups is a good piece of advice in general, even if you are not in danger of cybersecurity threats. Your hardware may malfunction and wipe the data leaving you with none and without an opportunity to restore it.
Cloud services like Dropbox are common to create backups. At the same time, you can also transfer your files to external hard drives and memory sticks and access data from these devices when you need to.