Five easy tips to protect your PC from hackers and malwareTime: Jan. 17, 2020
Sadly, common sense alone isn’t enough to protect your Windows PC from malware –
malicious software that disrupts your computer’s operations or gathers sensitive information
about your online behaviour.
Hackers can attack your PC in so many different ways that employing several layers of
anti-malware protection is the only way to keep your PC malware-free when it’s online.
Here are five steps to protect your computer from Malware.
Tip 1: Install, update and use anti-virus software
Installing antivirus software may sound like an obvious first step to protect against
malware, but not everyone bothers to do it. With so many options now available, though,
there really is no excuse. Microsoft offers its own free protection in the form of the Windows
Defender Security Centre.
Tip 2: Keep Windows up to date
Hackers often discover new ways to bypass Windows’ built-in security features, which
is why Microsoft issues small operating system updates every Tuesday and larger updates
once or twice a year. These will be downloaded and installed automatically by Windows
Update, but only if this feature is properly configured.
Windows Update cannot be switched off by default in Windows 10, you should be receving
updates already. However, if you'd like to check for a new update, search Windows Update
from the Start Menu.
Tip 3: Turn on the Windows firewall
Windows has a built-in ‘firewall’ that protects your PC from unwanted attention via the
internet. This software firewall is enabled by default and works alongside any hardware
firewall that’s built into your home broadband router. Check its settings by typing “check firewall”
in the Start menu search box and choosing Check firewall status from the results.
Three green tick marks mean the firewall is working normally - if not, select each one
to turn the firewall on.
Tip 4: Use the latest version of your web browser
Web browsers are vital applications, but just like other software, they can contain bugs.
Hackers are quick to capitalise on these and create bogus (or infect genuine) web sites
with data designed to exploit them. Once a web browser has been compromised in this
way, a hacker can monitor everything you type, including passwords to credit card numbers.
That’s why it’s vital to use the latest version of your web browser - anything other than
this may be a security risk.
Internet Explorer is on its way out to make way for Microsoft Edge, so don't expect to use
that forever. Edge, like Google Chrome and Firefox browsers, should automatically update
Tip 5: Don't fall for phishing emails
Emails that appear to be from a recognisable online service asking you to log into a site to
confirm some personal details are always fake.
These emails are usually caught by your email application’s spam filter, but if one does
slip through and you click its link, your web browser should detect and block the site it
takes you to.
This does depend on your web browser being aware of the fraudulent site, though, which is
another good reason to always use the most recent version.