If your computer is slowing down or displaying erratic behavior, chances usually are that some virus or malware is infecting your system. They range from being plain annoying to full-blown threats that can compromise the integrity of your system. Even their removal is tedious and exasperating in the least.
Caution is always better than cure so here are 5 best moves that you can make when it comes to virus and malware protection.
Installing a good Anti-Virus / Malware protection program
This may be a no-brainer, but a good antivirus program is the first line of defense for your computer. These days, anti-virus programs come equipped with malware protection programs as well, so you don’t have to look for one separately. Antivirus protection that has been well designed has many notable features. All downloads are checked to ensure that they are free of malware. It will schedule regular scans to ensure that there isn’t any malware that could have possibly gotten through. Good antivirus software is also capable of recognizing programs as malware on the basis of their heuristics/behavior. Moreover, it is also capable of analyzing and warning against websites that could possibly be designed to phish.
Keeping your program updated
Installing programs for protection is all well and good, but that program needs to be updated as soon as its vendor releases the updates. These days good antivirus/malware protection does automatically update itself, but if you have selected for the software to be updated manually, you need to ensure that you consistently update it.
Install a Firewall
Installing a firewall is another basic step for ensuring virus and malware protection. Firewalls are of two kinds: hardware and software. A firewall is a barrier between your computer and any program trying to gain entry through the Internet. There are plenty of firewall programs that are available on the market. They are designed with learning algorithms which allow them to become “smarter” and subsequently report lesser false positives. It is good practice to keep your firewall on permanently. You will be alerted to any suspicious activity.
Updating your operating system
No matter the operating system, you should ensure keeping it updated. Viruses and malware exploit weaknesses in your operating system to gain entry. Once they are known, vendors of the operating system release security patch updates that address the weakness. A good example of this is the recent Petrwrap ransomware. Windows immediately released an update that addressed the weakness the program exploited (SMB file sharing).
Keeping your network secure
We usually connect to the internet through a Wi-Fi connection. Basic protective measures that can be exercised in this case are securing your network with a password and ensuring that the encryption used is WPA/WPA2. You can also prevent your SSID from being broadcast. This will not prevent you from being able to access it; you’ll just have to manually type out the SSID.