Even if none of your devices have ever fallen victim to a virus, a single misstep is all it takes to find yourself at the mercy of one. The last decade has seen big advances in the field of cyber security, and with such advances came breakthroughs in virus development and other forms of cybercrime.
Many cyber security companies work tirelessly to keep pace with virus makers, spammers and information thieves, and anyone who fails to realize the threat these individuals pose is putting their online safety at considerable risk. Fortunately, keeping your devices safe from viruses doesn’t have to be an arduous undertaking. Putting the following pointers to good use can keep your computer and mobile devices virus-free for years to come.
Install Antivirus Software
In this day and age, no internet-enabled device should be without dependable antivirus software. A comprehensive antivirus program can often mean the difference between complete safety and compromised security. As the name suggests, antivirus software is designed to detect and stamp out viruses and other cyber threats before they’re able to cause problems.
Of course, this isn’t to say that all antivirus software is created equal. When shopping around for the right security software, look for programs developed by highly-rated companies that offer protection against an extensive assortment of threats.
Additionally, a good antivirus program will provide users with constant updates to combat the ever-expanding array of online dangers. So if any of your devices currently lack virus protection, there’s no time like the present to invest in reliable antivirus software.
Promptly Install Pertinent Updates
In order to operate at peak efficiency, antivirus software needs to be updated on a near-constant basis. With the number of cyber threats people face growing by the minute, security experts must constantly find new ways to protect online safety.
So if you’re not installing antivirus updates posthaste, you’re not getting your money’s worth. Not only are you depriving yourself of maximum security, you’re putting your devices and personal data at heavy risk.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you set your antivirus software to update automatically. This will ensure that pertinent updates don’t pile up and enable your security software to do its job unencumbered.
Your antivirus software isn’t the only thing that needs to be updated on a regular basis. The security mechanisms in your operating system work in cooperation with antivirus software to provide your devices with the best possible protection.
However, as is the case with antivirus software, your operating system must be consistently updated in order to be maximally effective. Since manually installing system updates can be a bit cumbersome, you’re better off enabling automatic updates.
Be Mindful of the Sites You Visit
Viruses and malicious software are commonly spread through unsecured websites. In some cases, sites are designed for the sole purpose of virus propagation. Other times, site owners are so lax with security measures that their websites become virus breeding grounds without them even noticing.
Fortunately, many modern-day browsers, operating systems and security programs are adept at warning people about iffy websites. For example, if a site fails to pass certain security protocols, you’re likely to receive a warning before you’re permitted to visit it.
Should you receive such a warning, it’s in your best interest to heed it. Taking a peek at an unfamiliar site isn’t worth all the stress and frustration associated with virus infection.
Run Regular Security Scans
Some viruses are able to remain undetected for long periods after infecting devices. By the time some of these viruses make their presence known, they’ve already caused a fair amount of damage.
With this in mind, make a point of running regular security scans through your operating system and antivirus software. The earlier viruses and malware are detected, the sooner you can set to work removing them. Since security scans can be run in the background without interfering with device activity, take care to run them as often as possible.
Getting hit with a computer virus can have serious consequences. Not only can a virus make a device unusable for the foreseeable future, it may also result in compromised privacy and stolen personal information. Luckily, avoiding viruses and malicious software isn’t nearly as difficult as some people make it look. A little bit of common sense and forward thinking can go a long way in the fight against cybercriminals.