What makes the best computer security habits? Because you may do something along the lines of securing your computer from various malicious kinds of things like installing antivirus software and doing regular scans but it may not be enough.
In fact, antivirus software deals with direct results of your good or bad security habits. The thing is important when you need an effective and professional approach to detecting and removing any appeared cyber threat.
Usually already present on your computer infection is the result of a sequence of actions that all lead to the result. It may be that you unknowingly clicked on received malicious attachment and now a coin miner is stripping you off your computer resources.
Our point is that first of all it should be you — your own first line of defense. And it’s hard to do unless you develop some bulletproof habits that should help you with the task.
See the next important computer security habits to ensure you build a strong and reliable line of cyber self defense:
Regularly update software on your computer
There could be several reasons as to why practicing such a habit should bring you the desired safety and security of your computer. One of the most obvious ones is having some vulnerabilities fixed.
When a company releases an update to its software it means they found some vulnerability in it and now they fixed it. For you as a user it means that threat actors won’t try to exploit it any longer and what’s more important you now secured.
Try to make an update as soon as it is released, chances are that some threat actors know about the vulnerability and try to exploit it before it gets patched.
Besides the direct benefit of having some security and safety problems fixed, often patches are made to make user experience better and give more efficiency to user’s interaction with a software.
Be cautious around links and attachments
Before opening straightforward any received email or clicking on link verify if the sender is authentic. Especially, if it’s an email or link that claims to be concerned with something important like related to work or some kind of sensitive information.
Even if you received an email that claims to be sent from Google or Microsoft, conduct a little trick to know the true authenticity of the sender. To do this hover your mouse over the link and the box should show the real destination this link will bring you to.
If what you saw looks unfamiliar to you don’t click on it. Email attachments and links have always been and remain one of the favorite mediums for malicious operations.
The most popular variants of malicious operations will include ransomware, spyware, adware, trojans, etc.
Develop attention and criticism to everything you receive and think to yourself if this particular email needs somehow to be attended or you can just leave it. If a received email is important, then take a closer look whether it can be malicious.
Consider installing firewall
You know this situation when telemarketers take random phones and make their calls. Similar things could be said about the internet and your computer. Threat actors also make calls (pings) automatically to thousands of computers and wait for their responses.
Firewall will prevent your computer from answering these random calls. It cuts off connection to and from sites you have not given your permission to establish connection. The thing will be exceptionally important if you use a high speed internet connection like cable or DSL.
Sometimes computers’ operating systems have built in firewalls but they may stay in “off” mode. Make sure you have your firewall activated and it receives regular updates. You can check the online help feature to get the instructions.
Download software only from official and legitimate sites
Half of the problems with your computer may come from obtaining software on some shady websites other than official ones.
You can never trust pirated software and be sure that those who offer it have not included some surprise for you in a bundle with a crack.
The other thing is when you instead of pirating software try to find the desired software on an official and legitimate site. If you do, make sure you download software from a really official and legitimate site.
Don’t click on any first pop up link in a search engine or advertisement banner that appears suddenly in some app or website.
It will be also important to check before downloading official software that developers have not included any additional programs in the so -called bundle.
Read carefully before starting to download, so that you know what actually you are going to receive and uncheck everything that is not related to the actual program.
Browse the web carefully
If the browser warns that you are about to visit a dangerous site it’s better to listen to advice and return back safely. Generally avoid visiting websites that have potentially illicit content.
More than often such websites contain malware that get installed on the fly or downloads that have malware. Use a good and quality browser that will block malicious websites and various malicious scripts from running on your computer.
Don’t use someone else’s USB drive
It would be better if you’d use your own one and not someone else’s. The main reason is simply that you don’t know for sure that the other USB drive has not been infected with some malware and so it won’t infect you.
Only if you know that this USB drive is clean can you use it and be calm concerning your computer safety.
Be careful when using public wifi
Public wifi networks are especially a concern of cyber security specialists. The reason for this lies in the inability of users to control by themselves the security settings of public wifi networks.
Because when you are at home you can limit what devices can get connected to your network, enable encryption to additionally protect transmitted information and put a stronger router password.
All these things you can’t do on a public wifi network which puts you and your computer at a more security risk. And as a result your data gets exposed to hackers, scammers and even public wifi providers.
Use strong and complex passwords on your computer
Passwords should always be complex and strong because that is why they were created to protect devices or accounts from unauthorized access. Now we are far from that period in history when you only needed one password.
Today, with information breaches happening all the time to minor and major services and information of millions of users getting exposed, it’s important not only to have passwords strong and complex but also change them regularly.
Keeping to such a habit ensures you will have your computer locked out of anyone encroaching on your privacy and security. Not only anyone physically couldn’t get a hold of your computer but also remote attack on the administrator of your computer wouldn’t be possible.
Secure with relevant tools your most important data
If you have on your computer any important data that should be kept intact by anyone unauthorized and be safe you definitely need to use some tools designed specifically for the task.
Various encryption techniques exist to help you protect your most valuable information like health information, credit card information, SSN’s, etc.
But besides enabling encryption on your computer for the most important data you also have to keep to some cyber hygiene rule concerning the data safety.
Remove all secure files from your system if you no longer need them, don’t leave them just waiting for anyone unauthorized to get hold. It would be better to keep them away from your computer on some remote cloud storage or USB drive.
Never leave your computer alone
Not only is the technical security of your computer important but also its physical one.
It may sound rather poetic but that’s one of the obvious things to consider when talking about physical security of your computer where technical security also comes into consideration.
Here are the same: one rule to follow to make sure your computer’s physical security is in check. If you need to leave your computer for some time before you go, lock it up so one else could access it until you return.
Not only you ensure that no one could look up whatever you were doing on your computer, but also, in case someone might decide to steal it, they would not be able to make use of your data.
Download and install antivirus software
The last and the most important thing on every computer. No matter how vigilant you can be in keeping up to your security habits you still are vulnerable to numerous malware and viruses that can do the biggest harm to your system and computer.
Among all threats it would be even enough to name adware — a stealthy program that gets distributed even with legitimate software bundles. Apart from annoying ads it delivers it also threatens your privacy.
In legitimate use this program helps to cover the costs of software development but when exploited by threat actors can be no less dangerous malware than other kinds.
So it’s important when choosing antivirus software to take into consideration whether this or the other antivirus software can cope with such greyzone kind of malware.
We recommend trying to use our product Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, which among various cyber threats, will also detect any adware on your computer and allow you to decide whether you are ok with its presence on your computer or not.