We’ve talked a lot lately about different kinds of computer viruses out there that could be lurking and waiting to attack your computer. From Ebola to Jimmy Kimmel, you never can be too sure of what’s safe and what’s dangerous. So we’ve compiled a list (a prescription of sorts) of ways you can be vigilant in keeping your computer, files and personal information safe.
According to AngiesList, the number one way you can protect your computer from hackers is to not use the same password over and over again. You’ve probably seen a lot about company security breaches lately – from Target to Home Depot and even Dairy Queen – which brings fear about the number of people affected by the breach. Change your passwords often, and if they are hard for you to remember, write them down in a safe location. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites, either. That makes it easier for hackers to find their way into many of your accounts.
Another way to keep viruses and hackers at bay is to always make sure your software, especially your security software, is updated. Sure, those windows about “software ready to update” and “please restart your computer” can be annoying, but they are nowhere near as annoying as what could happen if your computer becomes infected. Make sure to take the few minutes to download all software updates and restart your computer. Oftentimes the updates include patches that can protect you from new strains of malware and other viruses.
Don’t download illegal files, either. It might be tempting to download that Taylor Swift song you can’t get out of your head without paying for it. But hackers are betting on your willingness to test the boundaries of illegal sharing sites and are likely waiting with a virus attached to a song you download from a file sharing site. Your best bet is to either pay for the downloads you want or wait for the album to come out a buy a physical copy. It’s still a lot cheaper than having to buy a new computer or spend money to get your computer cleaned.
Above all, the best way to save your computer from being attacked by a virus is to be smart. Don’t click on things you aren’t familiar with and don’t let fake download or update popups trick you into clicking. Have a good quality security program running and when it tells you a site is dangerous, believe it. You don’t want to take any chances. And like we’ve told you before – if you get an email you don’t know about or that contains a suspicious link, it’s best to trash it. Browse the internet smartly and your computer will thank you for it.