The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Your Computer Secure

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Far too many people are complacent about their computer’s security level. In fact, if you are like most individuals, there is a good chance that you haven’t actually checked on your PC’s or laptop’s security beyond installing an antivirus. Well, if this is true for you, there are quite a few changes you will need to make.

Fortunately, you will not have to scour the internet to find these solutions. Instead, read the list below and make the adjustments accordingly. By doing so, you will be in a much better position to protect your sensitive and private information.

Computer security

Disconnect from the Internet

These days, most people rely on the internet for virtually everything. This is why many people keep their routers on at all times of the day. Now, while this may be helpful to you, it can be useful to hackers as well. Understand, hackers prefer people who have a continuous internet connection as it provides them with constant access.

To cut down on the risk of this happening, try to turn the router off every now and then. At the very least, get into the habit of doing this every time you leave the house. Sure, it may seem like an inconvenience but it could be just the step you need to keep hackers at bay.

Update Your OS Regularly

There is no denying that OS updates can often feel like the bane of everyone’s existence. Despite this, they are important. This is because each new update comes equipped with security patches. These help to overcome or fix any of the flaws that developers have noticed in the previous versions.

Now, unless you are a total tech wiz, it can be difficult to know when certain aspects of your OS security are failing. Therefore, to stay on the safe side, you should update your computer whenever the patches are made available. To ensure this happens on time, you should set the updates to be automatic.

Use the Right Browser and Update It

There is a good chance that you haven’t actually thought about how secure your web browser needs to be. Nonetheless, this is an incredibly important element! After all, it is through your browser that you are likely to come across many of your computer’s biggest security threats. To ensure that you are properly safeguarded, go with the most secure browser around.

Well, the results are in and it appears that Mozilla Firefox offers some of the best privacy tools around. Google Chrome is a close second if you are more comfortable using it. If you tend to do a lot of online banking, then Opera may be a better choice for you.

Of course, selecting a secure web browser is only half the battle. You also need to make sure that it is updated whenever necessary. As with your OS, browser updates also contain security patches. This can help to prevent present and future online threats.

Antivirus

Install a Good Antivirus

These days, you don’t even have to really think about antivirus software. After all, most computers already have this installed when you buy them. Well, while your free antivirus software may be fuss-free and cheap, it isn’t necessarily the best option for you.

At the end of the day, free antivirus often offers a basic level of protection. It isn’t equipped to deal with some of the bigger or sneakier threats, however. So, even though it may be running in the background, there is no guarantee that it is as pervasive as it needs to be. To get an idea of some of the more complex viruses out there, check out the computer realm website for answers.

While you may not want to pay for antivirus software, this is something you should seriously consider. If you really want your computer to be as secure as possible, then this is a small price to pay. Besides, this cost will more than make up for it when you have peace of mind about your computer’s security.

Be Wary of Websites

This should go without saying but it does bear repeating. There are a lot of sites that have been purposefully infected with worms. So, when you visit these websites, you are at risk of being infected with viruses as well. The easiest way to avoid this is to only visit websites you are absolutely certain of.

Of course, this can be time-consuming and tricky and sometimes, you just may forget. Here, it is best to check out your antivirus software settings. Make sure you have activated the features that will monitor your online browsing activity as well. This way, you will be warned of any sites that appear dodgy or virus prone.

Get Anti-Spyware as Well

Gone are the days when antivirus software was enough to keep your computer protected. These days, digital criminals have become a lot savvier with their methods. This is why it is becoming increasingly important to download anti-spyware as well.

The tricky thing about spyware is that it can remain dormant in your computer without you even knowing. While some versions will redirect your browser activity, this isn’t always the case. In certain instances, the spyware will simply remain on your computer, keeping track of everything you do online.

Since you probably live most of your life online these days, anti-spyware is now a necessity. At the very least, it is better to be safe now than sorry later on.

Use a Firewall for Your Router

Internet routers, while useful, can also be rather tricky. This is why many prefer to let their internet service provider handle all things related to it. Well, when it comes to your computer’s security, this isn’t something you can really do. This is why it is a good idea to check that your router is equipped with a suitable firewall.

If you don’t mind taking a more hands-on approach to your router’s security, there is software that you can download to improve this. These give you better access over your router's settings, thus allowing you to bulk up the firewall as necessary. This does take a little bit of tech know-how, so you should check whether this is within your capabilities first.

Create Separate, Complex Passwords

There have been enough data leaks to show that even the most trustworthy websites aren’t all that dependable. In the end, you have no real way of knowing just how these sites store the passwords you use to sign up for mailing lists, accounts, and more. This is why you need to be more careful about how you create your passwords.

Password

To start with, make sure you use a different password for each site you sign up with. This way, you can be certain that even if the code does get into the wrong hands, your other accounts will be safe. Also, make the passwords complex – use phrases instead of words and throw in some numbers and symbols as well.

Now, sure, this can make all your passwords virtually impossible to remember. A great solution to this is to get yourself a password manager. You can store all your passwords here, ensuring that you only have to memorize just one access code to the password manager.

Encrypt Your Data

Once upon a time, the average user didn’t need to encrypt the data on their computer. However, times have changed quite a bit. Now, most people store their sensitive information on their PCs and laptops. You probably do this as well. There isn’t anything wrong with that and these days, it is actually necessary.

At the same time, it does increase the necessity for data encryption. You can choose to encrypt your hard drive or specific files. It is up to you to decide where your most private information is stored. By doing this, you can ensure that such details will remain secure. This is true even if someone steals your computer.

Limit Access to Your Device

On a final note, think about how many people have access to your computer or laptop each day. If you are the only one, then this is good news. However, if multiple people can access your computer at any time, you do need to be more careful.

Keep in mind, these individuals can put your computer at risk, even if they don’t mean to. After all, not everyone may be as security-conscious as you are. Antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewalls will do quite a bit to keep most of the threats away.

Still, you may want to be careful with your personal account on the computer. Make sure that it is password locked so that you are the only one that can enter it. Then, set up a guest account that will allow individuals to use your computer when you are not around.

These are the top ways you can keep your computer secure. Remember, to improve your device security fully, you need to follow each of the guidelines mentioned here. 

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