It’s not just your physical security that you have to worry about nowadays. In fact, that’s only a small portion of your problem. As most of your social life and work is probably situated on the internet and in your home’s PC, it’s time that you take the necessary steps towards improving your device’s security as well.
Since hackers know that most people are stuck in their homes during this pandemic, the cases of hacks in home PCs have become significantly higher, as hackers understand that some people’s PCs at home are not as well protected as the ones in the office.
Before the worst happens, you need to take the right precautionary measure to protect your PC from online threats. Here are a few things you can do.
Get an Anti-Virus Software
As a general rule of thumb, you should never connect to the internet unless your PC is already equipped with anti-virus software. This is the first line of defence for any PC or any other device that connects to the internet and it’s definitely something that you shouldn’t be without.
As the name suggests, anti-virus software is a type of software that can protect your PC from nearly every virus that is online. It does this by preventing the attack and by blocking the source from the get-go. It also notifies you if you are downloading or accessing files that can have a potential security risk.
There is various free ant-virus software out there and with paid versions come extra features. You can find the best antivirus software out on the market with SoftwareLab.org and their list of choices. Find one which suits your needs and protect yourself as soon as possible.
Install a VPN
A VPN or a virtual private network is an online service that allows you to connect to the internet via a secure tunnel. This tunnel can encrypt your data and help you stay anonymous online as you surf the web. Perhaps most importantly, a VPN can mask your IP address as well.
People used to install VPNs just so that they can avail themselves of services, content, and features from other regions via geo-spoofing. However, this is now just a bonus to getting a VPN as the security features are now at the forefront of these services.
By masking your location, hackers will find a harder time to locate and track your down. If you have a laptop and you have a VPN installed, you can easily connect to public connections without having to worry about putting yourself at risk.
Unlike anti-virus software, VPNs are not usually free and they are a subscription service paid either monthly or annually.
Practice Responsible Browsing
Even if you have the best software installed to protect your PC, all of these will be worthless if you don’t practice responsible browsing. Most of the hacks that occur are caused by human error. What can you do to help lessen the risks you come across online?
- Make your passwords hard to guess. Ideally, the password should be 8-20 characters long, feature alphanumeric characters, both lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols.
- Always be mindful of the links you click. As much as possible, avoid clicking any links from websites that you haven’t heard of before. There are apps that let you determine whether links are safe or not too.
- Beware of phishing scams. Always thoroughly check the websites and the forms that you answer online. Hackers are able to recreate the websites of legitimate firms well to trick you into giving away your data. Check for grammatical errors or any misspellings on the URL.
- Avoid downloading from torrent sites. Not only is this a form of piracy, but you are also potentially putting yourself at risk of downloading a virus online.
Don’t Let Anyone Else Touch Your Computer
You should also avoid having anyone else touch your computer. There’s a chance that they won’t be as careful with your PC as you are, thus putting yourself at risk of getting victimised by online threats. If you have kids at home, they might put your PC at risk so it’s best to give them a device of their own to browse with.
This is especially the case if this is your work PC we are talking about. It’s your responsibility to keep it safe.
Keeping your PC safe is not just about protecting your files, it’s also about protecting your private data too. Although simple, these tips are going to lessen the risks you face online. It’s always up to you whether or not your PC remains protected so always be a responsible user.