The importance of computer security should be emphasized more often. You need not risk your privacy and potential data loss.
There are multiple ways to improve the security of a computer. Let’s take a look at some of these ways.
Block Adware and Spyware Websites
These days, adware and spyware websites are not as prominent as they were in the early days of the Internet. Nevertheless, you might still encounter one or two while surfing the net.
If you are aware of such a site, you can ignore it and avoid it. On the other hand, someone else might be using your computer and not understand how much of a problem spyware and adware websites can be.
Thus, you need to be proactive and block such websites yourself to avoid potential issues. Look for built-in tools in your operating system, such as a host file on macOS. Learn about hosts file Mac location and how you can optimize it to block unwanted sites.
Use a VPN
Privacy can be almost as important as security. And hardly anything offers as much privacy as a virtual private network.
For a few dollars per month, you can create a wall between incoming requests and your computer.
When you are using the Internet at home, you might not feel as threatened due to how secure home networks are. However, as soon as you connect to public Wi-Fi, you expose your devices to potential attackers.
Public Internet networks lack the necessary security protocols, which makes them an attractive target for hackers.
Let VPN encrypt your data and build a wall between you and a potential attacker. You will feel safer thanks to the measure.
As a bonus, you can also consider the fact that a VPN also lets you switch your location. In case you want to access geo-restricted content, such as movies or TV shows on Netflix, that are not available due to where you live, a virtual private network solves this problem.
Back Up Files
Data backups are not a direct way to fend off cybersecurity threats. The idea is to take the necessary precautions and create a copy of important files.
It is also worth pointing out that data loss could be the result of another cause, not just cybersecurity threats.
Now, as far as data backup options go, there are two notable methods. The first is to use an external storage accessory, such as a hard drive or a USB flash stick, and copy files there.
The second method is to transfer files to cloud storage. iCloud, Dropbox, and other cloud services offer a secure location to keep your data. Note, though, that the free plans for these services do come with a relatively small amount of total available storage. If you want to back up a lot of files or multiple large files, expect to pay a monthly fee to get enough storage on your cloud account.
Keep the OS Updated
Operating system developers keep a close eye on active cybersecurity threats and push for updates whenever a new computer virus threatens the well-being of users.
Missing an update puts your computer at risk. As such, you need to prioritize updating an OS as soon as a new version becomes available. Obviously, not all patches are meant for security measures. New features and general performance upgrades are quite common as well, but those are worth getting anyway.
It might take a while to download and install a new OS, which makes some people reluctant to bother with it as soon as a new update is available. However, considering the potential risk of missing an OS update security-wise, it should be a priority regardless of how long an update and installation might take.
Get Reliable Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is often considered a cornerstone of a solid cybersecurity strategy. It is hard to imagine a computer without an anti-malware tool running in the background at all times.
The purpose of such a tool is to detect and eliminate a threat before it manifests and causes significant issues to a computer.
Make sure that you have antivirus software on your device.
Pro tip: run custom disk scans on a regular basis for extra safety. Idle antivirus software might not be able to catch all the threats.
Avoid Suspicious Links and Attachments
Spending your time online, you are bound to run into shady websites or click on an ad that redirects you to a landing page crawling with malware.
Whether it is an email attachment, a URL you receive from someone on social media, or another example, identify suspicious activities like these and ignore them. Relying on malware to take care of a threat is common, but why risk it when you can just avoid a problem in the first place, right?