Protect Your Desktop From Viruses
Viruses, malware and the dreaded adware lurk in every corner of the Internet. You can pick them up without knowing it, suffer their ill effects, and have no clue what’s going on. Yes, you may have some right now. The question is; how do you keep your desktop computer safe, without having to spend a fortune, or suffer performance loss?
The good news is that there is plenty of free software to help you out. The most well-known virus protection software tends to cost an arm and a leg, but they aren’t really necessary, no matter what their promotional material tells you. Plus; they tend to do a serious number on your system, slowing it down to a crawl.
How Do You Get Infected?
We mentioned that you might not even know you’ve been infected, and this is true. But don’t be paranoid. You generally won’t pick up harmful software just playing bingo Australia, where there are strong security measures in place. Normally this software is picked up when visiting less mainstream sites. Plus, it normally comes packaged with other software, or even disguised to seem like something you want.
Note that this software cannot install itself on your system; you need to take some sort of action. So don’t click that you agree to anything when surfing the web, unless you know what you’re agreeing to. Don’t download or install anything you aren’t comfortable with.
We need not mention that the most common sites to result in infection are those that offer illegal software. But, infections can also be present in email attachments.
What Can I Do?
Windows comes with a standard set of defence tools known as Windows Defender. The first step to fighting viruses and other harmful software is to run the scan utilities of these tools, and allow them to detect infections. Simply open Windows Defender and click the option to run a scan. Be sure to update Windows Defender before scanning, which is 100% essential.
However, Windows Defender may not find all the infections. Software such as Malware Bytes is free, and excellent at rooting out and removing unwanted software. Be sure to also look for updates periodically, as infectious software evolves at an incredibly fast rate, and may go undetected otherwise.
Dealing with infections once they’ve been picked up is one thing, but avoiding them altogether is a far better defence. Avoiding questionable sites is the best way to not get infected. This doesn’t necessarily mean never browsing the web beyond the mainstream, but it does mean being very careful about where you explore ad only stick to sites that are designed to offer some sort of protection.
Not opening unusual emails from unknown sources is also a good idea, and especially not opening attachments from unknown sources. Email attachments are the single biggest source of infections, including those that can do serious harm to a computer.
The devastating Ransomware, that locks up a computer and encrypts it until the user pays a ransom, was delivered via email attachments. This should be more than enough to keep you on your toes and vigilant.