Virtually every internet user has dealt with a computer virus at some point. Viruses can run the gamut from minor annoyance to consequential security breach, and while some viruses are easier to combat than others, no one relishes having their computer infected.
Because of how plentiful and widespread computer viruses have become, many people have simply resigned themselves to the occasional infection. However, bolstering your digital defenses and keeping your computer virus-free is much easier than you may think.
As you’ll find, effectively shielding your computer from viruses doesn’t have to be a drain on your time or finances.
Invest in Dependable Antivirus Software
With reliable antivirus software in your corner, you can protect your computer from a broad assortment of cyber threats. Programs like Trend Micro’s Max Security Antivirus go above and beyond the call of duty to provide your internet-capable devices with comprehensive protection. Whether you’re looking secure your online transactions, shield your privacy, optimize your computer’s performance or stop viruses in their tracks, dependable security software is just what the doctor ordered.
To get the best possible performance from your antivirus software, you’ll need to install updates as they become available. Since these updates are created to combat new and emerging threats, allowing them to pile up only serves to make your computer more vulnerable.
If you have a tendency to place updates on the backburner, do yourself a favor, and enable automatic updates. By taking yourself out of the equation, you’ll ensure that the temptation to procrastinate never again impedes your antivirus program’s ability to do its job.
Similarly, make a point of installing operating system updates ASAP. Like antivirus updates, many O.S. updates are designed to defend against viruses and all types of malware and should be installed without hesitation.
Again, the longer you sit on important updates, the less secure your computer will be.
Utilize Your Operating System’s Antivirus Functions
Your operating system’s built-in antivirus functions can effectively complement the efforts of your dedicated antivirus program.
For example, nearly every version of Windows released over the last decade is equipped with Windows Defender. Like dedicated antivirus software, Windows Defender provides comprehensive protection from ransomware, spyware, and assorted viruses.
Additionally, Windows Firewall, a component of this program, can prove useful in keeping malicious software at bay. In a similar vein, Apple’s macOS features a number of built-in antivirus functions and sophisticated runtime protections designed to maximize online security.
If your computer utilizes an operating system with preloaded antivirus features, there’s no reason not to take advantage of them.
Run Regular Security Scans
Instead of making their presence known immediately, some viruses covertly infect computers and quietly carry out their functions in the background. To get a jump on sneaky viruses, make a point of running security scans on a consistent basis.
Since these scans don’t eat up a lot of memory or noticeably slow down most computers’ performances, you have absolutely nothing to lose by carrying them out.
As is the case with software updates, security scans can be set to conduct themselves automatically, and for maximum protection, you should have both your operating system and dedicated antivirus program scan your entire computer at least once a day.
Regular scans are crucial for nipping viruses in the bud and removing them before they have a chance to do serious damage.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
Although millions of people use public Wi-Fi on a daily basis, it’s not exactly conducive to online security. Since public networks can be accessed by anyone, many of them are frequented by cybercriminals. Keep in mind that any passwords, financial data or personal information you enter while using a public network can be easily intercepted by even the most minimally-skilled crook. While public Wi-Fi may be convenient, that convenience comes with tremendous risks.
No one relishes dealing with computer viruses. Even if a virus isn’t particularly serious, removing it from your PC can prove cumbersome, difficult, and time-consuming. Furthermore, if you’re hit with one of the more serious viruses, a treasure trove of personal data could be stolen or compromised. Rather than leaving your odds of infection up to chance, you should protect your computer by taking proactive measures against the rapidly-expanding litany of viruses.