Simple Ways to Protect Your Computer from Cyber Attacks

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With more and more devices connecting to the Internet, it’s more important than ever to take steps to protect yourself against cyber criminals. Keep reading while we list some easy things you can do right now to help keep your computer secure.

Install Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is your first line of defense against malware, viruses, and other malicious software. While most computers have good antivirus software pre-installed, it’s important to check to make sure and keep it up to date. There is also third-party software available, and if you decide to go that route, ensure you choose a reputable brand. Some popular options include Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender.

Keep Your Operating System and Software Updated

Regular updates for your operating system and software are essential. Updates often include patches for security vulnerabilities that hackers could use to get into your system. Enable automatic updates to ensure you don’t miss any critical patches.

Use Strong, Unique Passwords

Weak passwords are an easy target for cybercriminals and more people than you might think use pet names, important dates, and other easy-to-guess information that could leave them vulnerable. While you might want your passwords to be easy to remember, it’s important to choose strong passwords with numbers and special characters that an attacker won’t guess.

Password managers can be a great tool for helping you keep your passwords organized and secure.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication can be a hassle at times, but it’s well worth it for the added security it provides. Requiring you to respond to a text message sent directly to your smartphone is a difficult hurdle for hackers to overcome, so until something better is in place, enabling it on every application that allows it is a must.

Be Cautious with Emails and Links

Phishing emails and malicious links are common ways for hackers to gain access to your computer. Be wary of unsolicited emails, especially those asking for personal information or containing attachments and links. Many common attacks offer services or jobs you didn’t apply for. Check out our article on phishing to learn more.

Use a Firewall

Most modern computers have a good firewall built-in, but you’ll need to ensure it’s up to date and turned on. It’s also a good idea to learn how to use it so you can read logs to learn about any attacks, and you can also set it to allow or block certain sites that it doesn’t do naturally.

Back Up Your Data Regularly

Back up your data regularly so that if an attack does occur, you won’t lose any important information. Use external hard drives or cloud storage services to back up important files.

Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

An unsecured Wi-Fi network can be an easy entry point for hackers. Use strong encryption (WPA3 or at least WPA2), change the default router password, and hide your network SSID if possible.

Limit Personal Information Sharing Online

Try not to share your personal information online when it isn’t completely necessary, especially on social media. Making your accounts private can also help limit who has access to the information you share.

Educate Yourself About Cybersecurity

Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices. Follow reliable tech blogs and news sites, such as Geeksided to keep up-to-date on new vulnerabilities and protection strategies.