Malware is a type of software that’s designed to damage your computer, network or other device, and over the years it has evolved and become more dangerous, with many high-profile malware attacks that have caused millions in losses. Luckily, there are ways to prevent malware, and it’s better to take security measures now rather than being stuck trying to remove it in future. Here are a few tips to stay secure.
Install anti-malware software
Your first line of defense against malware should be some great anti-malware software such as McAfee. This will scan your e-mails and system regularly, looking out for any potential malware in attachments or on your system. However, it’s not enough to simply install the software, you should also make sure you run any recommended updates, as this will help keep you protected from the latest threats. Also, run the scans when prompted. This can be annoying, but it is essential for your own protection.
Don’t access pirated material
Whether you want to watch the latest movie or download some episodes of your favorite TV show, it’s very tempting to access pirate sites to get access to things you can’t find on Netflix, Amazon, or other legit services. However, pirate sites have a higher risk of malware, they’re often full of ads and annoying pop-ups that take you to even less reputable sites, so if you want to keep your computer clean, avoid using the internet this way.
Scan your e-mail attachments
Even if an e-mail appears to be from a friend or colleague, always run a scan on any attachments before you download them. It could be that your contact has had their account breached and it’s sending out malware. If you don’t recognize the e-mail address, then avoid opening attachments at all.
Don’t plug in strange devices
Been given a USB stick by a friend or found one on the ground? Don’t plug it into your laptop! While it’s natural to be curious about the contents, studies have shown that USB sticks can install malware and cause untold issues with your device. Many people also have viruses on their USB sticks that they simply aren’t aware of, so don’t assume that because it’s come from a trusted source that it’s virus-free.
Be careful what you install
A lot of malware comes in the form of apps and software, which, while it may provide a useful service, piggybacks harmful malware onto your system. Be sure only to install software or apps that you’ve found from reputable online services such as Apple’s App Store, Google Play, etc., and check user agreements before you click ‘install.’
If you use software for illegal file sharing, then you may inadvertently install a lot of malware at the same time. They’ll often disguise malware with the file names of the latest movies to tempt people in. The only way you can avoid malware in these situations is to simply not use this software.
While malware can be complicated to remove, the good news is that taking a few precautions can help you avoid it in the first place, so you can keep your computer running smoothly.