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How To Protect Your PC From Malware?

There seems to be a wrong belief that the web is a safe place and that nothing bad can happen there. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, as dangers are lurking at every corner, one of them being the malware. 

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What is Malware?

The word ‘malware’ is nothing more than a shortened name for ‘Malicious Software,’ whose main purpose is to harm your computer. Oftentimes, malware is sent to the computer to allow the hackers access to the data on it so that they can collect information from your device without you noticing. 

Types of Malware

  • Virus – a computer program that infects the device and can copy itself
  • Worm – sends copies of itself to other devices through a network
  • Spyware – collects information without people knowing
  • Adware – automatically plays or downloads advertisements 
  • Trojan horse – an application that pretends to be useful, but in reality harms the device and collects data without anyone knowing.

There are several ways in which malware can get into your computer. Those include downloading free software from the web, opening emails from unknown sources or visiting websites that are infected. 

How Can You Protect Your Computer From Them?

Apart from stealing sensitive information from your computer, such as search history, passwords, or bank account information, malware can seriously damage your computer, and can even cause it to die. This is why it’s important to protect it before it is too late. 

How can you do that? Well, there are several ways. You can, for example,… 

  • Choose a Good Antivirus

The first step in protecting your device against malware is choosing a good antivirus. Thankfully, many of them are free, and some computer companies go as far as installing one on their products so that when someone buys it, they will already have it. 

If your device doesn’t have it, you need to find one that will be the most suitable for your needs. A good choice is TotalAV, which has both a free and a paid version. As you can read in the totalAV review published on Security Gladiators, “Unlike many other Antivirus software suites out there, Total Antivirus (or TotalAV), is one antivirus software suite that is as close to being fully featured as any other.” However, the final choice is up to you. 

  • Don’t Open Suspicious Attachments

If someone came up to you on the street and gave you a box of chocolates or some other sweets, would you open it and eat it? Not really, as you would be afraid that they put something into it, and most likely, you would throw them away. 

If you get emails from addresses you don’t know or that look suspicious, you should treat them just like this box of chocolates – with caution, as you never know if it’s just spam, or if the email or the attachment contains a virus ready to attack your computer. 

  • Keep Your Software Up-to-date

No matter if you use a Macbook or a computer with the Windows system, you probably noticed that every once in a while it sends you a notification about a new operating system update available. 

Don’t ignore them, as one of their functions is improving the protection of your computer against hackers and new threats that have been detected since the last update. Apart from the operating system, the software is also something that should be kept up-to-date. 

  • Pay Attention to Indicators of Compromise

As useful as antivirus is, sometimes it might have problems with detecting malware, especially if it’s new or unknown to the program’s creators. However, it doesn’t mean that the malware is undetectable, as there are some things that might indicate that your computer has been infected with malicious software. 

Those include, for example, the light next to your camera being on despite not using it, Facebook or other social media sending you notifications about a new log in from a different IP or copies of your email being sent to unfamiliar email addresses. 

  • Use Tools That Detect Suspicious Websites

One of the common ways in which malware is transferred onto your computer is by infected websites. Many of those websites look legitimate, the only thing suggesting that something is wrong with them being a long loading time, which can be mistaken with low speed. 

However, there are many tools that detect those kinds of websites, and send you a notification as soon as they notice something wrong. For example, you can use Safe Browsing by Google, which allows you to check the website’s URL if you think that it might be infected. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that the web is a dangerous place these days, where anything can happen. It’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why you should do everything in your power to protect your computer from malware before it’s too late. Good Luck!

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