The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do things. As we spend more time indoors to observe physical distancing rules, we use our computers to work, communicate, shop, and devour entertainment with greater frequency.
Unfortunately, with more people on the Internet, security breaches have soared. Unprepared Internet users quickly lose their money, pictures, videos, and confidential information to cybercriminals.
That’s why you must secure your computer with these two tips:
Download Top Cybersecurity Software
The default antivirus software on Windows is sufficient against conventional threats such as computer viruses and worms, which can wreak havoc on your operating system by deleting your operational files and your data. However, Windows is still vulnerable against the following emerging threats that can’t be neutralized with signature-based antivirus technology alone:
- Adware: This malware can be quite irritating. Adware throws up ads on your screen, takes over your web browser, redirects you to new websites, installs plugins, hijacks your search tools, and copies your activity for marketers. Adware can also slow down or crash your web browser.
- Spyware: This dangerous malware is hard to detect because it sits silently in your computer. The symptoms of spyware are usually mild. For example, your hard drive may suddenly activate, your processor may run without reason, and your webcam may turn on. Cybercriminals use spyware to steal your data, such as the usernames and passwords to your financial accounts.
- Keyloggers: A keylogger is a type of spyware that copies your keystrokes for crooks. With your keystrokes, a cybercriminal can determine your login credentials, read your messages, steal your intellectual property.
- Stalkerware: Spyware specifically designed to track your movements through your GPS or observe you through your webcam is called stalkerware. This disturbing software is the malware of choice for stalkers, predators, ex-lovers, and jealous spouses.
- Ransomware: Hackers use ransomware to lock your computer until you send a ransom through a nearly untraceable cryptocurrency like bitcoin. While cybercriminals usually use ransomware to attack businesses, the malware is now also hitting regular computer users. Unfortunately, people who pay ransoms are usually targeted again for more money.
- Trojan horse attack: A Trojan horse attack is a malware delivery system. Cybercriminals use Trojan horse attacks to trick their victims into contracting a malware infection. For example, a hacker may send you a video game with an executable that carries spyware.
- Phishing attack: Like a Trojan horse attack, a phishing attack is a malware delivery system. Usually, a phishing attack comes in the shape of a fake email carrying a fraudulent link designed to steal your confidential information. For example, a phishing email may take you to a phony checkout system on a fraudulent shopping website in order to steal your credit card information.
- Spear phishing attack: These types of phishing attacks are more dangerous than regular phishing attacks because they target you specifically. A bad actor may take months to design a spear-phishing attack after observing your behaviour online. For example, if you publicly talk about collecting stamps on Facebook, they may develop a fake website that sells rare stamps at a low cost to entice you into a trap.
Although Windows can’t protect you against such sophisticated attacks, advanced cybersecurity software like Malwarebytes Windows 10 antivirus protection certainly can because it offers real-time protection against all kinds of malware threats on the Internet. It also uses a complex behaviour-based detection system that can slay conventional and emerging threats.
Aside from advanced antivirus protection, please keep your operating system updated to plug the latest security holes in your PC. Likewise, use the firewalls on your Windows and your Router to protect your network. To make your network even more secure, subscribe to a VPN service with class-leading features and technology.
Use Common Sense
The best cybersecurity tools in the world can’t secure your computer if you don’t use common sense. Avoid untrustworthy emails, links, text messages, and software at all costs. Only download programs from official sources after checking reviews. Grant permission requests to applications sparingly. If a program needless demands access to your contact information and your webcam, then uninstall it immediately.
- No security certificate.
- Alerts from your cybersecurity software or browser.
- Unusual content.
- Poor grammar and spelling.
- Garbled images.
- Deals that seem too good to be true.
- Demands for your confidential information.
- Pop-up ads that make alarming claims.
When shopping online, use your credit card instead of your debit card because it offers more security or use services like PayPal for extra safety. Also, monitor your accounts regularly for unusual activity and immediately contact your financial institution if you notice something odd.
Never save your personal information on any website, and always use complex passwords that feature 12 characters, uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Likewise, don’t use common words or dates in your password. If your password is flawed, a cybercriminal can crack it in minutes with a dictionary attack.
Finally, avoid oversharing information on social media. Beef up your privacy settings and accept people in your online friend circle carefully. Although staying secure on the Internet may seem like a lot of work, it’s worthwhile. After all, a cybercriminal can turn your life upside down in a matter of minutes.