Cyber warfare is already in full swing, and you can bet that experts are on their toes in an effort to sustain as much safety in the web as can be maintained. Numerous governments and organizations have shifted their focus to this growing concern and have determined methods to eliminate the danger that the cyber world has posed against them.
Nonetheless, you cannot rely on the actions of these groups for your own security. Each individual involved with the internet shoulders his own weight in this battle. While you can rely on high-tech means of defending yourself, you cannot transfer this burden to another person. You have to be active in establishing and sustaining your own security. Otherwise, you’ll be faced irreversible consequences.
Take refuge in the sliver of positive light that still exists in the web. In it, you’ll find thousands of communities that dedicate time and energy in educating other internet users on the ways that they can protect themselves and their computers. It will never be enough that you have all the latest security software; at the end of the day, the machines can do very little without your wise participation. Here are a couple of tips you can start with to neutralize the threat of malware in your life:
Change your Computer Habits
Others would claim that antivirus software and firewalls are the ultimate solution to this problem; we disagree. To eliminate the suffering, one must first identify its root cause. Begin by reflecting on the abundance of malware in the web and the increasing number of cyber crime victims. How do these criminals penetrate a stranger’s computer? How do these victims get themselves targeted?
The answer lies in computer habits.
Unless you’ve allowed your computer to be vulnerable to assault, cyber criminals and malware alike will have difficulty penetrating your system. If you’ve ever suffered from an attack, take the time to assess your internet activities, particularly the media files you download. Jot them down if you have to. One, two, or maybe all the activities in that list may have been the key used by the enemy to attack you. Beware of these common mistakes that get you in big trouble:
- Clicking that Link. Let’s specify this to your approach to the emails that land in your mailbox. Do you open even the suspicious looking ones? Is your interest piqued by that link? Are you curious as to the intentions of that childhood friend who hasn’t messaged you for five years for emailing you? The slightest hint that the link and the email altogether are harmful should be enough to stop you from opening it. Call that friend to confirm the authenticity of the email.
- Forgetting to Log out. Everyone gets struck by laziness whenever they have to remember their lengthy username and lengthy password just to access their account. Many of us assumed that by not logging out, we’re sparing ourselves that trouble. Beware of the hazard you’ve imposed on yourself; hackers take advantage of neglected account and use them as zombies for their cyber crimes. Log in and out of your online accounts to remove one of the many threats you face.
- Downloading everything. All forms of media files can be infected with malware. Before you click that download button, think twice about the authenticity of the website you’re downloading the file from. In case you are unsure, retreat and find a website that you can put your confidence in. Malware protection software cannot compete with your careless computer usage.
Get to Know Your Antivirus
Installing cloud antivirus protection and resorting to similar security measures are already a given; we need not discuss its importance further. A major point that has to be discussed, however, is your knowledge in navigating this software. Virus protection can only be as efficient as you will it to be; overlook its limitations and it will begin to lose its value.
Make it your obligation to check its status every time you use your computer. Having an updated PC virus protection is required. Is its security patches updated? Moreover, is your antivirus software still capable of defending you? Learn the difference between updating and upgrading it; your ability to weigh your antivirus’ performance will have an impact in your computer’s overall proficiency.
Scan on a Regular Basis
Disregard the automatic features of your antivirus and be responsible enough to initiate a full scan. Do the same to each flash drive and removable hard disk that is connected to your computer, especially if they are not yours and you do not know where they’ve been attached to beforehand. Bear in mind that these gadgets are prone to carrying malware from computer to computer. Perform a custom scan on them before running any file or program in that disk, or else risk transferring the malware to you system.