Millions of Windows PC users experience some form of cybercrime every year. According to one study, there were 2,953 reported cyberattacks between January and September of 2020. Many of these data breaches could have been prevented with better precautions.
Sometimes, problems are caused by faulty hardware, but most of the time, users forget about updating their computers and fail to make sure that they have antivirus software installed. If your version of Windows starts acting weird, the easiest thing to do is reinstall the system. Once you do that, you should do what you can to prevent viruses, malware, and ransomware from ever breaching the system in the future. Here are a few tips that will help you do that.
1. Keep your Windows operating system up to date
Did you know that 55% of computers with Windows operating systems are using out of date software. This creates serious security issues.
Making sure that your Windows operating system is up to date is the most important thing of all. You should patch your system every time you see the notification. Every update is vital as it comes with the latest security updates.
If you don’t want to update your system manually, you can allow automatic updates and ensure that your system is always up to date. Here is what you have to do:
- Open the search box in the Windows start menu and type “Windows Update.”
- Click on “Advanced options.”
- Select “Automatically download updates,” and your system will stay updated in the future.
2. Create a restore point
Sometimes, your system can crash or get infected with viruses, no matter how hard you try to prevent it from happening. However, if you think ahead, you can create a restore point and simply reset your system without reinstalling everything. Here is what you have to do:
- Click on the “Start” button and select “Control Panel.”
- Navigate to “System and Maintenance,” and then select “System.”
- Click on “System protection” and select “Create.”
You should create a restore point after reinstalling your system to ensure that the restore point is clean. Name it something like “Clean installation” or “New Restore Point” to make it clear what purpose it serves.
3. Install a trusted antivirus software
An antivirus tool is essential for your Windows operating system. If it gets infected, antivirus software will likely detect it. Download and install it on your PC and always use trusted websites when downloading, as there are many fake programs out there. A good antivirus should have features such as real-time scanning, regular updates, and an advanced firewall.
Antivirus software is essential because it will scan your device at least a few times a month and delete all corrupted files or software. While some more advanced viruses might make it through the firewall, at least you’ll know that your device is protected from the vast majority of malicious files.
4. Install an Ad Blocker
Most popular internet browsers allow the use of all kinds of extensions that allow you to customize your online activities. The first thing you should install is some type of ad blocker, as it will help you navigate websites without those annoying ads popping up.
Many of those ads are infected with malware, especially those found on suspicious websites. So, if you want to make sure that you avoid downloading malware by merely clicking on an add, install an ad blocker and bypass the risk entirely.
5. Install a VPN
A VPN service can also help you effectively avoid certain digital threats, such as data theft in transit. VPN stands for a Virtual Private Network, and it’s a service that makes sure that you are more anonymous when you go online. Thus, trackers won’t retrieve as much information about your digital identity. A Windows VPN is essential if you wish to secure all online actions you make. For instance, it sufficiently protects you from websites that lack encryption and ensures that data safely traverses from point A to point B.
6. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
If you use a laptop or a tablet on your way to and from work, never connect to public Wi-Fi. That includes coffee shops, busses, and all other public networks, especially those with no password protection.
If you’re not careful, one single connection could land you in a lot of trouble. For example, someone could have installed tracking software on the network. That way, every time someone connects, criminals can steal passwords, data, and information without anyone knowing. But if you have a VPN installed, you don’t have to worry so much because it makes it almost impossible for others to track you down and steal information.
The bottom line
If you have Windows installed on your device, you should know that it will be under constant attack by all kinds of malicious files, fake websites, and cybercriminals looking for valuable data.
Even if you don’t understand how everything works, you can follow these simple steps above and make sure that you set up a strong defense perimeter. Use all available technologies to make things harder for criminals, and most of them will simply give up before the damage is done. Good luck!