Secure your system with these simple tricks.
While antivirus software for any computer is highly recommended, there’s no law saying you have to use software to protect your system from viruses, malware, and other ill-meaning programs out there.
Whether it’s a matter of budget constraints or simply a desire to control your own system without third-party help; methods do exist to protecting your computer without using antivirus software. These ideas are actually beneficial for all computer users, not just those avoiding antivirus software. They are some of the best practices around for keeping your computer safe, your personal information and data protected, and pass those protections along to those you share a network with or whom you regularly communicate with via email or instant messenger.
It’s really tempting to ignore those little pop-up bubbles letting you know Windows is ready for an update, isn’t it? While it often seems Microsoft has picked the worst possible time to update your computer, it is a case of “Big Brother” looking out for you.
Most of Microsoft’s updates revolve around its built-in security features and patches for the holes where hackers are likely to slip into your system. Windows is far from the perfect fortress, but if you regularly update as advised, you’ll feel a lot safer when you boot up.
Just like updating Windows, the Microsoft-installed Firewall acts in conjunction with your broadband router to keep any unwanted traffic from slipping inside your computer defenses. It’s certainly not infallible, and nowhere near the type of protection that a big corporation would have, but it’s savvy enough to recognize potential breaches and stop them in their tracks.
Your Google ID has been canceled! Your Apple account’s password has changed! The Billing Center of your credit card company is trying to reach you! Phishing emails are the low-hanging fruit of the Internet’s cybercriminal, but they must work enough to keep using them. Your spam filter is going to help “take out the trash” with a lot of the fake emails you’ll receive, but plenty slip through the cracks over the course of a year. Anything that looks fake probably is, and if you’re not sure, just visit the actual website of the product in question, sign in, and contact their customer service to make sure your account is OK.
Linux has some limitations in the types of software that can operate there. But if you are not using your computer for any industry-specific applications, Linux is a great alternative for online safety. Research shows that 90% of viruses currently active are designed, and an additional 9.95% is for Macs. That means just 0.05% of viruses are capable of affecting Linux.
This Windows download is free and updated frequently, making it a great tool to use (or choose a free alternative from this list). It’s pretty lightweight (44.5MB download) and removes not only malicious software but also is capable of reversing any changes said the software has made to your system. There are three versions: quick, full, and customized. The quick scan looks through areas that viruses typically hide in your system. The full scan is much more encompassing but also takes several hours to complete.
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