Want to learn better ways to protect your laptop from hackers, spyware and viruses? Check out these steps:
1. Install Anti-Virus Software – This should not even have to be listed because if you don’t have any anti-virus software installed, you’re asking for trouble! If your reason for not installing anti-virus software is because it’s too expensive, then that reason can be shot down because there are several free anti-virus programs out there that are considered better than commercial software packages. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Avira – Avira has a free version that was ranked #3 in 2014 for detecting viruses.
Bitdefender – Bitdefender had the second highest detection rate and they also have a free edition.
Panda Anti-Virus – In 2014 virus detection tests, Panda anti-virus had a 99.9% detection rate. This was the highest out of over 25+ anti-virus programs. It’s not free, but I mentioned it because of its top rating.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus – Not free, but in the top 5 in terms of detection rate.
In addition to anti-virus software, you should install one anti-malware program and the best is MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free. It was tested in 2014 and did the best job out of 10 products, many of which were not free.
2. Update All Software – Installing an anti-virus program by itself is not enough. There are hundreds of new threats that are found daily and the anti-virus programs release updates regularly to combat these new threats. Make sure your anti-virus program is set to update automatically so that you don’t have to rely on your memory to do it. Also, this goes for all the software on your computer. The most important software to keep up to date is your Windows operating system. It is essential to have Automatic Updates turned on and set to download and install updates automatically.
3. Install only Trusted Software – If you’re not sure what a piece of software does from its name, then don’t install it. Also, don’t install anything you didn’t intend to install in the first place. Sometimes programs will ask you to install other programs during the install of the original application. Be careful of that because it’s usually spyware. If you’re installing software from big names sites like Microsoft or Adobe, you’re good. For anything else, you should first get it scanned. The easiest way to do this is to use an online tool like VirusTotal, which lets you upload a file for scanning or lets you enter the URL you want checked.