7 Ways to Defend Against Unwanted Programs
Viruses, spyware, and malware are like infections that can slow down your computer and lead to more serious problems. Once your computer has a virus, the virus might spread to other devices or make your personal information visible to others. Take these basic precautions to protect your computer against harmful and unwanted programs.
Update Antivirus Software
If your computer already has antivirus software, make sure that it’s regularly updated. Many new computers come with a limited subscription to antivirus software, so you can either pay to renew that software or download a free version. With personal computers, the most important thing is to keep the virus definitions up to date by downloading updates.
Enable the Firewall
Windows and many antivirus programs offer some kind of firewall, which protects your local network against outside worms and viruses. Not unlike antivirus, it can be turned off, but it only offers protection for your network while in use.
Be Wary of Email Attachments
Many viruses spread through email attachments, so don’t open unexpected or unexplained attachment files. Even if the email is from someone you know, downloading and installing an unrecognized file can be the mistake that creates major headaches.
Use a Pop-up Blocker
Pop-up windows on websites can be more than just annoying; they can pose a threat themselves or trick you into downloading harmful programs. Internet Explorer and other browsers include pop-up blockers that can be activated or turned off.
Update Your Computer
It can seem like a hassle to download updates for your computer, but they often close potential gaps and help to better protect your computer. If you have automatic updates and restart your computer occasionally, updates aren’t as big of a hassle.
Activate User Account Control
User Account Control (UAC) requests your approval for any Administrator-level changes to your computer. If a virus or other program attempts to change a significant setting, UAC will give you the option to refuse that change. The Microsoft website has more information about UAC settings.
Getting online exposes your computer to potential malware, much like how interacting with other people exposes you to some chance of getting sick. Washing your hands can improve your chance of avoiding many common illnesses. Similarly, these seven measures keep your computer from contracting viruses online.
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