If you’re not that computer savvy then you could end up falling victim to a number of different threats that propagate on the internet. There are a lot of different ways that computers can be compromised, and along with it your personal data. That’s why I’m writing this article: to help you get the basics of computer security so that you’ll have a better chance against these threats. If you know someone that might benefit from this article, please send it along to them! You know, grandmas that like to open ALL their emails and attachments, dads that are constantly downloading…well…things.
STEP ONE: DON’T OPEN WEIRD EMAILS
Spam checks on most email services (such as GMail) are getting very sophisticated these days, however sometimes an email or two will slip through that is rather unsavory to say the least. Some of these are VERY cleverly disguised as “legitimate” emails from companies such as credit cards, insurance, PayPal, and even big box stores such as Home Depot and WalMart. They come disguised as an official email however they are simply there to trick you into giving hackers your personal information.
If you get an email asking for ANY personal information, then you should be VERY cautious and suspicious. These companies usually do NOT send these types of emails.
STEP TWO: INSTALL ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE
This should be number one, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows about these stupid phishing emails that have been going around. I want to remind everyone to install antivirus software on their computers. And not only antivirus software, but perhaps spyware software as well. Spyware can sometimes be different from viruses because they are “actual” programs that antivirus software may not catch. Sometimes spyware can piggyback with free or sketchy software. It’s not good. Anyway, pay some money for good software such as Norton 360 and Spyhunter 4 so you can ensure you’re always up to date. If you want more information on the latest in antivirus and spyware removal software, check out We Hate Malware.
STEP THREE: DON’T GO TO INTERNET “BAD” NEIGHBORHOODS
Ok, this is a little subjective, however I think it’s very important. You have a very high risk of getting infected by a virus if you frequent websites such as gambling, adult, and download sites. These are NOTORIOUS hotbeds of hacking activity and the owners of these sites are not as internet ethical as the rest of the web. I’ve had many a run-in with bad websites with drive-by downloads from visiting these internet neighborhoods. I know the instant I go to an adult website I’m probably going to be infected with a panoply of viruses and other stuff.
STEP FOUR: DON’T DOWNLOAD THINGS
I can’t stress this enough. Try not to download tons of “free” programs like screen savers, music and movies, games, gadgets, and other similar things. Remember when the internet was new and everyone downloaded everything in sight? Well those days are OVER. You’ll get a barrage of viruses and malware on your computer for sure. I downloaded ONE free program the other day to open .rar files from some “free software” website. Well, I got my computer overtaken by some Conduit search malware/spyware thing. Had to use Spyhunter to get rid of it (which worked wonderfully by the way)