Few things are more frustrating than being hit with a computer virus. As innovations continue to be made in the field of cybersecurity, virus developers are constantly stepping up their game in an effort to remain ahead of the curve. The effects of viruses run the gamut from general annoyance to full-on data theft, so it behooves every internet user to remain vigilant. Fortunately, keeping viruses at bay doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. In the quest to keep your internet-enabled devices virus-free, the following pointers are sure to come in handy.
Always Install Operating System Updates
No one relishes installing operating system updates. Not only do these updates tend to drop at inconvenient times, but they also take at least a few minutes to install and often require a timely reboot. In the age of instant gratification, many people find this unacceptable and allow updates to pile up. While it’s true that installing operating system updates can be somewhat cumbersome, keeping your O.S. up to date is one of the most effective measures you can take against viruses and malware. Many of these updates are created in response to newly emerging security threats and will help protect your computer from a rapidly expanding plethora of viruses.
With this in mind, take care to install operating system updates as soon as they become available. If you’re in the middle of working, playing a game or surfing the web, pulling yourself away may take a little bit of will power, but your efforts will ultimately be rewarded in the form of enhanced virus protection. You can also set your operating system to download and install updates automatically, thereby increasing the chances of the update process being completed when the computer isn’t in use.
Invest in Antivirus Software
These days, no computer should be without reliable antivirus software. The right antivirus program will be able to promptly detect and eliminate viruses, malware and a host of other digital threats. Since virus authors, malware developers and other cybercriminals are constantly stepping up their game, it’s imperative that you respond in kind.
A dependable piece of antivirus software will supply constant updates to combat an ever-increasing barrage of viruses and provide users with tremendous peace of mind. Additionally, antivirus software shouldn’t be limited to your computer. To ensure maximum protection, any tablets, smartphones or other internet-enabled devices in your possession should also be outfitted with top-notch antivirus software.
As is the case with operating system updates, you’ll need to install new antivirus updates as they become available. The longer you wait, the more susceptible your computer will be to a wide assortment of threats. If you care enough about virus protection to invest in specialized software, it stands to reason that you’ll want to get your money’s worth — and in order to do that, updates need to be installed automatically.
Be Mindful of Suspicious Websites and Emails
Viruses and malware are commonly spread through suspicious websites and emails. As such, it benefits you to be selective about the sites you visit as well as the links you click. For starters, never open email attachments from unfamiliar senders. Furthermore, if an email contains a link, make a point of hovering over it, as this will show you where the link is really taking you. Lastly, before downloading any attachment from an email — even one from a trusted source — run a virus scan on the file. When surfing the web, avoid sites that feature pop-ups and excessive Flash ads. Even sites that are seemingly legitimate have been known to contain virus-laden advertisements, so clicking on ads is generally ill-advised.
Computer viruses have a habit of striking when people least expect them. In some instances, viruses can serve as minor annoyances, while in others, they can render computers completely unusable. When it comes to curbing the spread of computer viruses, preventative measures are vitally important. Unfortunately, far too many people fail to take such measures until their computers have already fallen prey to infection. A little bit of time and effort on your part can go a long way in keeping your computer safe from viruses, so if virus prevention is a priority for you, put the previously discussed measures to good use.