While hackers are continuously creating smarter and more advanced viruses, there are several ways to protect your device and files.
The best way to deal with a virus is to prevent it in the first place by using antivirus protection and antispyware software. It’s important to keep these applications up to date, as well as regularly updating your operating system and making sure that your browser’s security settings are current. Regularly back up your files (to the cloud or safe external hard drive) in case they become corrupted, ransomed, or are deleted. Use a security tool to evaluate your device and find out how vulnerable it might be. When you’re surfing the internet, don’t click questionable links or pop-ups. Your browser may warn you about suspicious websites, or you might see a red unlocked lock to the left of the URL at the top of the web page if it is unsecured. This doesn’t always mean a website is dangerous, but you may want to think
twice about browsing or entering your information.
Another good rule of thumb is to never open an email or attachment unless you know and trust the sender. Oftentimes, hackers will use a friend’s name as the sender or use “Re:” in the subject line to trick you, so double check the actual email address to see if you recognize it. If you open the email and still aren’t sure, even if it’s from a trusted source, it’s still best to delete. Be very careful when downloading software. Only download programs, movies, and music from legitimate websites or services.
Many people connect using public Wi-Fi in cafes, restaurants, or stores, but these unsecured networks can leave your phone, tablet, or computer susceptible to viruses. Instead, consider using a personal hotspot to connect to the internet.
Finally, educate yourself about the types of threats out there and teach others to do the same. For instance, around 95 percent of teens use the internet, but 18 percent say they haven’t been educated about “good online behavior.” By taking the time to talk with your family about safe online habits, you can drastically lower the risk of devices being compromised.
Think you have a computer virus? Call Stacy (941) 246-1048, she can help.