7 Tips To Prevent Malware On Your Computer

Staying safe online

1. Do Not Be Intimidated Or Fooled By Scare Tactics

They come in all forms and shapes. I will give you some examples below, but generally let me say that you should never install anti-virus or anti-spyware or anti-malware software from untrusted sources. My personal recommendation for Windows users is this malware protection software combination:

-AVG Anti-virus Free Version (anti-virus)
-Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (anti-malware)
-Advanced System Care

So how do scammers scare people? Usually, when you visit a website, a pop up warns you that your virus definitions are outdated or that your computer is infected and that you should install a tool to scan your computer and remove the malware. Don’t let such warnings scare you, they are fake! Lately, scammers also started calling people at their home to tell them that their computer is infected, asking them to turn on their computer, visit a website, and install a software to fix the issue. If this happens to you, simply hang up, it’s fake, too.

2. Open Only Links & Downloads You Trust

This cannot be stressed enough. You should not visit dubious websites or download questionable or illegal files. This is almost a sure way to catch malware. If you need help evaluating links for their safety, you can use a browser plugin called Web of Trust (WOT).

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3. Understand How Scams & Phishing Attacks Work

Scams and phishing attacks can hide behind Facebook notifications or an email from your bank. When you follow the link and enter requested details, the scammers successfully ‘phished’ your password or personal information.

Of course Facebook will send out legitimate notifications and your bank may contact you through email, too. So when in doubt, always double-check where those links really take you to. Hover over the link in your email and check the underlying URL or (if need be) check for the URL in your browser URL bar.

4. Do Not Open Unsolicited Email Attachments

Do not open attachments unless you trust the source or without scanning them. Most webmail clients will scan attachments before allowing you to open them. Also most desktop email clients provide malware scanning to protect you from malicious attachments. Never skip this step!

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5. Keep Your Anti-Virus Software Up to Date

Having protection software is the first step; maintaining it is the second. Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Viruses and malware are created all the time. Your scanning software is only as good as its database. It too must be as up to date as possible.Try to update your antivirus program at least once a month.

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6. Pay Attention When Installing Software

Often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as a toolbar or additional programs. Be very careful what you agree to install. Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

7. Keep Your Operating System Current

Whether you are running Windows or Mac, keep it up to date. Developers are always issuing security patches that fix and plug security leaks. These patches will help to keep your system secure.