Search Encrypt is explaining how you should protect your devices from potential malware attacks or injections. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone or a smart home device, you likely connect to the internet many times every day. If you have these devices, they probably stay connected to the network, even if you aren’t using them. Every second they are connected to the internet, they are open to threats such as viruses, spyware and other malware.
We are sharing Search Encrypt‘s recommendations for locking down your devices and staying safe from malware.
1. Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software runs in the background on your computer. They protect you by scanning all the files you download and open. Search Encrypt recommends using an antivirus program as a way to double down on privacy and security. When you download files from the internet, your antivirus software can scan these files to let you know if they contain malware or other types of viruses or programs that could hijack and take control of your computer or browser.
“Your antivirus software relies on virus definitions to detect malware. That’s why it automatically downloads new, updated definition files – once a day or even more often. The definition files contain signatures for viruses and other malware that have been encountered in the wild. Source: HowToGeek.com
Antivirus programs aren’t perfect. Just because you have one installed does not mean that you will be 100 percent protected. If a virus is new enough and hasn’t been added to these malware definition files, it may not be flagged. On the other hand, sometimes antivirus programs flag programs in error, which are false positives. These are quite normal, especially if a program has some features that look similar to malicious programs.
- McAfee AntiVirus Plus: McAfee AntiVirus Plus is a well-known name in the security industry. It’s antivirus is one of the most popular on the market. McAfee offers multi-platform protection for PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.
- Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic: Norton is another well-known player in the anti-virus game. Similar to McAfee’s antivirus, Norton has received many awards for its virus protection product. Norton offers Basic, Standard, Deluxe, and Premium products to protect one or multiple devices with additional features in each package.
- Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus: Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is a cloud based security software designed to keep your computer safe from virus and other malware threats. Webroot’s antivirus also protects your internet browsing to limit threats to access your private information.
- Other Antivirus Providers: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Avast Pro Antivirus
2. Avoid Malicious Websites
Be cautious about the websites you visit, especially banking websites or other websites that contain financial information. If you are entering any information into a website, make sure that it is a secure and encrypted website with an HTTPS URL. Most browsers will denote a secure site with a green padlock in the address bar.
Without this level of encryption, any user on your network could be scraping your information. Most major browsers will warn you if you are on a site that could compromise your information, or is unsafe. Check the URL of the website you visit to make sure it is correct and not a clone that could collect your login credentials for the real site.
Another way Search Encrypt recommends you protect yourself is by considering the purpose of a website. If it is clear that the website’s sole purpose is for you to install some sort of software, there’s a good chance the site is trying to inject malware onto your computer.
3. Keep Your Devices Updated
One of the easiest ways to prevent system vulnerabilities is to keep your devices and software updated with the latest version. While updates may include added features and functionality, one of their most important parts is fixing security vulnerabilities. If the device or software provider identifies an issue with their service, they use updates to fix them to protect users.
Search Encrypt recommends updating your devices as soon as the company releases the update.
4. Avoid Pirated Software
Pirated software may be appealing because it’s obviously cheaper than paying for the official, licensed version of a given program. However, these programs could be injected with viruses or malware meant to spy on you and collect your private information.
Search Encrypt recommends opting for free trials and other safe alternatives to purchasing software, if you don’t want to pay for the full version. Any one providing the pirated programs could have ulterior motives that include collecting your sensitive information.
5. Follow The Latest Internet Security News
Search Encrypt recommends keeping up to date with the latest news regarding security threats on the web. If you are familiar with the threats currently affecting the internet, it’s much easier to avoid any harmful effects that they may cause.
If threats are large enough, popular news outlets may even cover them. If you’re especially concerned, follow cybersecurity blogs like this one, or others. You probably rely on your computer or smartphone for some very important tasks and for storing sensitive information. The consequences of a malware or virus hijacking your computer could be dire.