Top 4 Ways to Avoid & Prevent Viruses Infections

In all the years that I’ve been on the internet, my system has been infected with a virus, only a couple of times. Running your system without any form of protection doesn’t necessarily mean your system will get infected, though that’s something I’d never recommend.

Whether you choose to properly secure your system, one thing you should be aware of is the various ways that your system can be infected, and the things you can do to prevent it. There are so many things to be on the lookout for, from dodgy links to infected external devices.

With just a little knowhow, it can put you in a better position, to prevent your system from being infected with malicious files, while you surf the internet.

                         Prevent Virus

1. Install Antivirus Software

This is one of the first things you’ll want to do and should be the easiest thing you can do, irrespective of your computer level.

Most people think that free antivirus solutions are good enough to protect them from the generality of computer viruses and spyware. However, the reality is, most of these free solutions are borderline, in terms of their performance. They may protect you from some malicious files, but not from all of them. That said, it’s better to have something than to have nothing at all.

When tested, it was found that most free antivirus tools don’t provide the level of protection that would be deemed satisfactory, by most specialists. Therefore, it’d be in your best interest to invest in a professional internet security suite, to fully safeguard your system.

Antivirus software, over the years, has evolved, able to detect and remove a plethora of virus types, from spyware to viruses, to malware. However, the term antivirus has still remained. So keep that in mind, antivirus tools today, are multifaceted, providing you with all the protection you should need.

2. Surf the Internet Intelligently

Most of these better professional antivirus tools, come with browser plug-ins, to integrate them into your browser, to help protect your system from phishing attacks, and other latent infections and exploits. Some security tools may even come with link protection, which means, the virus scanner will check the web link, to determine whether or not it’s bad before you click on it.

If your security software has these features, then it is very important that they are enabled. Unless it has a detrimental effect on the performance of your web browser, it should always be left on. You may also want to enable the automatic pop-up blocker, that comes as standard with virtually every web browser out there. These blockers were also popular with toolbars, but the vast majority of these toolbars have been rendered obsolete due to the increased functionality of the web browser.

One golden rule that all internet surfers should stick to, is to never enter confidential data, such as financial, account info or anything of the like, into a web page that they didn’t arrive on, manually. Instead, they should type the web address into the web browser, and enter the information into the web page, that way, instead of clicking on any hyperlinks, and making the mistake of thinking they’ve been redirected to the correct page. It’s not uncommon for an end-user to be redirected to a fraudulent page, from a link within an email. When you enter the web address manually, you eliminate this possibility.

That said, nothing is truly 100% secure on the internet, so you should always take precautions.

3. Be Careful What You Connect To Your System

Many people are unaware that this is probably one of the most common ways that their system gets infected. Most computer users today, have a USB stick, which they carry around with them, ready to attach to any PC. But you can never be sure what’s on a friends computer, and what could get carried onto your USB stick. A lot of these viruses are programmed to launch, automatically, when you attach a USB stick to the system, so you don’t really have to open or download any files for the stick to be infected.

This is one important step that you should always stick to if you want to ensure that your system never gets infected with a malicious file. Be wary of everything that you see and read, especially things on social media sites, as it can be more trouble than you want. You want to do your utmost to ensure your system is never infiltrated by a malicious file because the kind of devastation that it can cause.

4. Don’t Click On Links or Attachments in Emails

It’s probably something you’ve already heard, several times in the past. Never click on links or attachments in emails. Yet, so many people make the mistake of doing so.

There could be a plethora of reasons why someone may click on a link or attachment in an email. The email may have been from a colleague or friend or crafted in such a way to entice you into doing it, regardless of the reasons, the end result can be grave. If you click on the wrong link in an email or download the wrong attachment, your system could be infected and corrupted within a matter of seconds.

Users should ensure that all links and attachments in emails are scanned first, by their antivirus scanner, before they click on it. If you’ve invested in a professional antivirus solution, then email scanning should come with it, as standard.

When it comes to clicking on links, it’s always best to just manually type the URL into the browser, that way you eliminate any risk of redirects and phishing websites.

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support 

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