It’s no secret that our devices are full of personal information. We store photos, documents, and other files on them; we use them to search the web, and they’re involved in nearly every aspect of our daily lives.
But what happens if a hacker gets access to your device? Identity thieves can get their hands on all kinds of sensitive information—including banking records and medical information—and use it to make money or ruin your reputation. Spammers might use your computer as a “zombie drone” to send spam that looks like it came from you. Malicious viruses or spyware could be deposited on your computer, slowing it down or destroying files.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself from these kinds of threats. It is important that you protect your devices and data from malware. Malware can steal your personal information, block access to websites and services, or even cause system crashes.
By using safety measures and good practices to protect your devices, you can protect your privacy and your family. The following tips are offered to help you lower your risk while you’re online. These are the following major you should follow to secure your device from Malware:
Don’t Let Your Devices Out of Your Sight:
Keeping your device secure is important, especially when it comes to keeping your personal information protected. Make sure to download recommended updates from your device’s manufacturer or operating system provider, especially for important software such as your internet browser. Antivirus software, antispyware software, and firewalls are also important tools to thwart attacks on your device.
Antivirus Software Is a Must to Protect:
There are a lot of different types of antivirus software available. Some can check for viruses in real-time, while others check for them only when you enter your password. Some allow you to access your files remotely, while others require that you log in to the system manually.
Antivirus protection scans your files and your incoming email for viruses and then deletes anything malicious. You must keep your antivirus software updated to cope with the latest “bugs” circulating the internet. Most antivirus software includes a feature to download updates automatically when you are online. In addition, make sure that the software is continually running and check your system for viruses, especially if you are downloading files from the web or checking your email. Set your antivirus software to check for viruses every day. You should also give your system a thorough scan at least twice a month.
Antispyware Software to Secure Devices:
Spyware is software installed without your knowledge or consent that can monitor your online activities and collect personal information while you’re online.
Some kinds of spyware called key loggers, record everything you key in—including your passwords and financial information. Signs that your device may be infected with spyware include a sudden flurry of ads, being taken to websites you don’t want to go to, and generally slowed performance.
Spyware protection is included in some antivirus software programs. Check your antivirus software documentation for instructions on how to activate the spyware protection features. You can buy separate antispyware software programs. Keep your antispyware software updated and run it regularly.
Use Strong Protection:
You can better protect your personal information by using complex passwords and strong authentication methods. You should also avoid reusing passwords for different accounts and exposing yourself to phishing attacks.
Choose Strong Passwords:
To safeguard your devices and accounts from unauthorized access, choose passwords that are difficult to guess. Use strong passwords with a minimum of eight characters, incorporating a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols.
Avoid using a word that can be found in a dictionary or any other personal information, such as date of birth. Some hackers use programs that can try every word in the dictionary, making it easy to glean personal information such as birthdays.
If you need assistance remembering your password, try using a phrase with the first letter of each word serving as the password.
It is advisable that you create unique passwords for each of your online accounts, including those for your financial institution, social media, and email. If you find it difficult to remember all your passwords, you can use password manager software to generate strong passwords and keep them safe.
Use Stronger Authentication Methods:
Most social media, email, and financial accounts can be accessed with stronger authentication methods, such as fingerprinting, one-time codes sent to a mobile device, or other features that confirm a user is authorized to access the account. If you would like to learn more about strong authentication methods, visit the Lock Down Your Login Campaign.
Protect Your Private Information:
When browsing your email, visiting websites, posting on social media, or shopping, take care to pay attention to where you click and to who you give your information. Some websites or data thieves might try to trick you into revealing your data.
Be Careful What You Click:
Phishing attacks—where hackers send messages that appear to be genuine in order to trick you into giving them personal information—are becoming more sophisticated. For example, you might receive an urgent message saying that your bank account has been locked and that you need to enter your password and Social Security number to unlock it.
Before clicking on any links in messages like this, think twice. Most authentic messages from financial institutions will not ask for personal information directly but will instead tell you to call or visit a specific website. You can also check the email address that sent the message to make sure it’s from the sender you were expecting.
The best defense against malware is to keep all of your devices protected. Update and patch your computer, install trusted antivirus software, and use a firewall. These steps will reduce your chances of you becoming a victim and can also identify active threats before they cause damage. Don’t forget to routinely scan your network and devices for threats, limiting potential damage in case of infection.
At Hello Nerds, our expert technicians can help to remove malware from your devices and install antivirus software to keep you protected against common threats. Call us today.