Every time you browse the internet, download content or use online programs, you are in danger of having malware infiltrate your computer. Malware is actually computer software, which was created with malicious intent of disrupting the smooth operation of your PC, or to gather information that the user would like to keep private (like bank account data). There are countless malware victims in the world, which have lost private information and money because of malware.
Protecting your computer against such software is no easy task and requires diligence. Every day new malware programs are released, increasing the danger of having your computer infected.
In this article we’ll take a good look at how one can successfully protect their computer from malware, both with special anti-malware software and with diligent care. To understand how to protect oneself from malware it is best to look at how malware first infiltrates the computer.
How does malware enter the PC?
There are many methods through which malware software enters the computer. Arguably the most common one would be downloads. Downloading any programs bears the danger of said program containing malware. The danger is higher if you download illegal material, like pirated videos, games and music. The type of site you download from is also important.
Shady sites, like those containing sales pages, porn and illegal files, are more probable to contain malware in the downloadable content. Official sites on the other hand, like Microsoft’s etc, are far less likely to infect your computer.
Malware can also enter the PC through CDs and DVDs. If said CD/DVD contains malware instead or with the program you wish to use, then you might infect your computer by using it.
Knowing this it is easier to understand how to protect the PC from malware. Here are the five steps to rid your computer from malware and protect against future infiltration:
Tips on How to Protect Your Computer From Malware
To ensure that you and any other user can safely browse the internet, download content and use DVDs without fear of computer infection from malware, you should:
- Download and Install High Grade Anti-Malware Software. There are hundreds of choices out there, with some being obviously better and faster than others, while some are too expensive. There are plenty of free trial programs and cheaper options that will do just fine for a home computer, but a business should consider buying an official Anti Malware Software that specializes in professional networks.
If the computer you wish to install the software on is new, then you should download the software from another (already protected) PC, to avoid infecting the helpless new machine.
If you buy your Anti Malware Software in DVD form, then make sure you have bought an official, legal version to avoid a malware scam. Official versions are well sealed and carry the trademark symbols of the developer.
There are many great choices for anti-malware software out there, including: Malwarebytes, AVG, Bitdefender, Microsoft Windows Defender, Avast, Comodo, Panda Cloud and many others.
- Use a Secondary Anti Malware Program. A single Anti Malware Software might actually miss a few infections and dangers, so it is a good idea to install a secondary program. It is important to choose two programs that are compatible and work together well. Spybot and Malwarebytes are two great programs that work in synergy with other anti-malware programs.
- Update All your Anti-Malware Software Regularly. Since new malware appears every day, it is important to keep your current anti-malware software updated constantly, or it won’t be able to defend against newer dangers. Most anti-malware programs will detect updates by themselves when the computer is connected to the internet and will inform you about the need to download those updates.
- Perform Regular Scans. You Anti-Malware software will not always detect a problem the moment it infects your computer. It is quite important to have regularly scheduled scans made by the programs to detect any malware that has slipped through the defenses. Most Anti-Malware programs will tell you to scan regularly, but if they don’t, remember to scan at least once a week. Scans can take a few hours so schedule them at a time where you don’t need to do memory consuming tasks on your PC, since the scans can tax the memory quite a bit.
- Update your OS Regularly. The operating system (OS) of your computer needs to be fully updated to be able to see dangers and detect malfunctions due to malware properly. If you use Windows, make sure that you have your firewall operating constantly when browsing the internet.
- Keep Backups. You never know when a new malware might defeat your Anti-Malware software and make a mess out of your computer. Even the best protected PCs can get infected and that is why, as a last resort, regular backups might save you from a lot of grief and keep your data intact even if all else fails.
Notable Anti-Malware Software
Most Anti-Malware software will work just fine on a regular home PC, but there are some programs that can actually make a great difference when you are in a pinch:
- Spybot- Search and Destroy. This handy little program will actively look for any piece of dubious data on your computer and get rid of it with your permission. Spybot is the ideal tool to complement a more basic Anti-virus/Anti-Malware program.
- Another great addition as a secondary anti-malware software, Malwarebytes can make a great difference in finding malicious files that have hidden in your PC for a while.
- This is very minimalist and straight forward software, which is ideal to be used as a primary anti-virus program.
Many Anti-Virus programs will also scan for other types of malware. Viruses are only a part of all malware that exists. Ensure that your anti-malware software combination covers you for all types of malware, including viruses, adware and spyware, among others.