Virtually everyone has had their computer infected with a virus or malware at some time. Undoubtedly it was very unpleasant—or worse, it put your business at grave risk.
There comes a moment when working on one’s computer when it becomes obvious that the computer is infected with malware, spyware, or a serious virus. If it is not malware it may be a serious virus, and that is a scary prospect. Certain viruses are merely bothersome, while others are there to commit bad deeds and steal information. Some malware hijacks computer browsers, while others hijack your computer and all the information it contains. If this happens, the immediate next step is to stop using the computer and then hire a company to remove the embedded programs wreaking all the havoc.
Featured below are the top 10 ways to stop malware from infecting your computer:
- Install antivirus/malware software on your computer
Logic dictates this is a given, but many computers at businesses and homes do not have it installed. It is the first line of defense.
- Maintain your antivirus software’s up to date status
Be certain the antivirus software on each device at a business or at home is up to date.
- Schedule antivirus scans daily or weekly
Simply log in to the computer’s antivirus software and set up a regular computer scan to run. The best time to schedule it to run is at night.
- Consistently maintain your operating system so it’s up to date
This is critical for all operating systems because the software providers all to updates to correct and plug security leaks. By keeping a computer’s OS current it lowers the chance the computer will be infected due to a breach from security issue that has not been addressed.
- Keep your network secure
In businesses these days computers are networked with a Wi-Fi connection, which means the files on the computers and the servers are part of the network. Because of connectivity from the Wi-Fi connection and the network’s associated files and records, it is critical that the system is set up securely with WPA or WPA2 encryption. Do not allow any part of your SSID (name of the Wi-Fi network) to be broadcast.
- Use logic and don’t click if you don’t trust an email or website
Websites are pirated daily, giving them viruses that can ruin a business or home computer. Emails should never be opened from anyone or any company with which you are not familiar. Stick to a policy of scanning all files from the web, email, or FTP website for viruses to safeguard your computer or computers.
- Safeguard both your business and personal information
This is a difficult task to accomplish on the internet. Hackers are everywhere, gleaning information any way possible that can be used to gain access to personal and business data tied to bank accounts. Once a hacker gains this information, accounts can be emptied out and nothing can be done about it. Do not disclose any information to anyone or any website unless it is 100% secure.
- Stop using open Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi at coffee shops is set up without passwords and is non-encrypted. Logging in to the internet this way is like giving a trained hacker the keys to your bank account.
- Run scheduled file back-ups
The smartest approach is to back up files away from where they originated, on a separate hard drive and away from the location where they were created. Use a service that offers back-ups and store your files in an offsite location that you trust and that is secure.
- Always use several different ultra-strong passwords
Do not use the same password over and over again because this exponentially raises the chances of being hacked and losing everything. Use both upper and lower case letters, plus symbols and numbers to create passwords.
At Crumbacher, we are experts at computer networking, antivirus software, and protecting home and business’ from computer malware and computer virus infections. To learn more call us in Santa Fe at 505-820-6007 and in Albuquerque at 505-275-6866.