The best ways to protect your PC against online threats
It’s not just your physical safety you have to worry about these days. In fact, this is only a small part of your problem. Since most of your social life and work probably takes place on the Internet and on your home PC, it’s time you took the necessary steps to improve the security of your device as well.
Since hackers know that most people are stuck at home during this pandemic, cases of personal computer hacks have become significantly higherbecause hackers understand that some people’s PCs at home aren’t as well protected as those at work.
Before the worst happens, you need to take the right precautionary measures to protect your PC from online threats. Here are some things you can do.
Get anti-virus software
As a general rule, you should never connect to the Internet unless your PC already has anti-virus software installed. It’s the first line of defense for any PC or other device that connects to the internet and it’s definitely something you shouldn’t be without.
As the name suggests, antivirus software is a type of software that can protect your PC against almost any online virus. It does this by preventing the attack and blocking the source from the start. It also warns you if you download or access files that may pose a potential security risk.
There are various free anti-virus software and the paid versions offer additional features. You can find the best antivirus software on the market with SoftwareLab.org and their list of choices. Find one that suits your needs and protect yourself as soon as possible.
Install a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is an online service that allows you to connect to the Internet through a secure tunnel. This tunnel can encrypt your data and help you stay anonymous online while browsing the web. Perhaps more importantly, a VPN can also hide your IP address. Surfshark is a VPN you can try
People used to install VPNs just so they can enjoy services, content and features from other regions via geo-spoofing. However, it is now just a bonus to get a VPN as the security features are now at the forefront of these services.
Hiding your location will make it harder for hackers to locate and track you. If you have a laptop and have a VPN installed, you can easily connect to public connections without having to worry about putting yourself at risk.
Unlike antivirus software, VPNs are generally not free and are a paid monthly or yearly subscription service.
Practice responsible navigation
Even if you have installed the best software to protect your PC, it will all be for naught if you don’t practice responsible browsing. Most hacks that occur are caused by human error. What can you do to help reduce the risks you encounter online?
- Make your passwords hard to guess. Ideally, the password should be 8-20 characters long, include alphanumeric characters, lowercase and uppercase letters, and symbols.
- Always pay attention to the links you click on. As much as possible, avoid clicking on links from websites you’ve never heard of before. There are applications that allow you to determine whether the links are safe or not.
- Beware of phishing scams. Always check websites and forms you fill out online carefully. Hackers are able to recreate the websites of legitimate companies to trick you into divulging your data. Check for grammatical errors or misspellings on the URL.
- Avoid downloading from torrent sites. Not only is this a form of hacking, but you are also putting yourself at risk of downloading a virus online.
Don’t let anyone else touch your computer
You also need to avoid someone else touching your computer. They might not be as careful with your PC as you are, putting you at risk of falling victim to online threats. If you have kids at home, they could be putting your PC at risk, so it’s best to give them a device of their own to browse.
This is especially the case if this is your work PC we’re talking about. It is your responsibility to keep it safe.
Protecting your PC isn’t just about protecting your files, it’s also about protecting your private data. Although simple, these tips will reduce the risks you face online. Whether or not your PC stays protected is always up to you, so always be a responsible user.