It happens to the best of us. You’re cruising along on the Internet when, out of nowhere, you’re suddenly at the mercy of a nasty virus or malware. Sometimes you’re not even aware right away, leaving your data vulnerable to people you really don’t want having it. While it may be a growing concern, there are things you can do to prevent that sick, sinking feeling before it’s too late.
Pay Attention To Signs
Sites like Google and Bing are often proactive in guarding your safety online. They spend millions on the technology to display important warnings like the one seen below when a site is suspected of malicious activity. They may not be right 100% of the time, but is it really worth the risk when whatever you’re looking for is likely available on a trusted site?
These generous warnings, however, are also not an excuse to let down your guard. Always use common sense with anything you encounter online. If it looks suspicious, think twice before clicking. This rule applies doubly so when it comes to software found online. Download from trusted sites and brands whenever possible.
Your Smartphone Is A Computer
It may be small, but that smartphone in your pocket is a computer. As such, it is susceptible to many of the same issues a desktop or laptop computer can fall victim to. More concerning is the idea that something so small, that travels with you constantly, can be forgotten or stolen in an instant. That said, it is surprising how many people fail to protect their smartphone, especially when it’s so easy. The moment I knew it was an option, I downloaded an app on my iPhone that allows me to remotely lock or even completely wipe my iPhone in the event of loss or theft. Last week, my wife was showing me the similar app she installed on her Android phone. It’s not hours of entertainment, but it may be the single most important install one day.
Firewalls, Anti-Virus and Andti-Malware Software
It’s hard to buy a PC these days without a pre-configured firewall built in and running right out of the box. The more advanced viruses, trojans, and malware become, the less you can rely on common sense alone. I know because I have strict viewing, clicking, and downloading rules to prevent viruses and trojans and one day, I found myself with a trojan anyway. Not a day has gone by since that I have been without anti-virus software.
Treat Your Computer Like Your Car
Imagine this. Your close friend asks to borrow your car but you know he has crashed his own car countless times as a result of reckless driving. Would you hand over the keys? If you don’t mind the increased risk that you’ll be without the use of a car, go right ahead. Apply this same thinking to your computer. If your friend is constantly winding up with malware and trojans on his computer, the odds that he’ll put yours out of commission are certainly increased. If you have kids, create their own account or accounts, with limited privileges, to help reduce the risk of something bad happening.
Weather you’re a gadget addict like me, or give all your attention to just one device, I’d love to hear your best tip for keeping any or all of your devices protected. Comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $400 Amazon gift card from Kaspersky Lab.