How to Protect Your Computer From Hackers and Viruses

how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Did you know that there are 560,000 new pieces of malware detected every day? That adds up to over seventeen million new instances of malware recorded each month.

Many of these infectious files come from previously infected files, as malware spreads like a real disease. That’s part of the reason malware and other things are called computer viruses.

With all the use that goes into computers, the chances that you’ll encounter malware are very high. For those new to technology, you don’t need to worry about what to do.

This article will tell you exactly how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses alike. All you need to do is keep reading.

How to Protect Your Computer From Hackers and Viruses

The absolute best way to protect your computer is to know what you’re protecting it from. Whether you’re dealing with a computer virus or a hacker, you want to be informed.

What Are Computer Viruses?

Computer viruses are a type of malware that spreads from device to device and causes damage to the software or files on your computer. If your computer is slow, behaves oddly, or crashes often, you may already have a virus.

Computer viruses can be broken down into a few different types – Trojans, worms, and ransomware.

  • Trojans are viruses that reference the old myth of the trojan horse. They hide in seemingly-normal programs in order to spread across devices or networks.
  • Worms are a type of virus that hides in a small piece of code. Unlike typical viruses, they don’t actually require downloading to spread from device to device.
  • A third well-known type of virus is ransomware. This is a type of malware that blocks access to your files and demands a ransom to get them back.

What is a Hacker?

Hackers, on the other hand, are people who use their skills to get unauthorized access to your computer. They may do this through malware, or through a scam known as phishing.

Phishing is when you get an email that was written by a hacker in an attempt to trick you into thinking it comes from somewhere else. If you fall for it and provide the information, they can then access your account and sometimes other things.

This may seem scary, but rest assured, you can protect yourself from both hackers and viruses alike.

Personal Tips for IT Security

IT Security, also known as cyber security, is the practice of protecting your computer from hackers and viruses. Despite the name, you don’t actually have to speak with an IT consultant to do this – these are tips that everyone can use. 

Software Updates

The easiest thing that you can do to protect your computer is to keep your software up to date. Updating your computer when it’s available helps to fix critical weaknesses that hackers could exploit and prevents ransomware.

Password Safety

The next thing that you can do is to use strong passwords. Try not to use the same password for any account twice. This will protect your information from hackers.

To further protect yourself, try using a password management tool. This keeps your passwords safe and where you can access them. If you want to be completely safe, however, you could also consider keeping a hidden notebook with the passwords inside it if you trust everyone in your household.

Two-Factor Authorization

On top of using strong passwords, you should enable two-factor authorization. This makes it so that after entering your password you will have to prove it’s you in another way.

The second authorization can be anything from entering a code texted to your phone number to submitting your fingerprint, depending on what you’re logging into.

Phishing Awareness

Finally, be on the lookout for phishing scams. Don’t open emails from people you don’t know, and be aware of suspicious-looking emails from people you do know. They may have gotten infected and not realized it yet.

Inspect the email to ensure it is free of grammatical errors- companies rarely make these, so if someone is posing as a company you should be able to spot it. 

Lastly, do not click on the link sent to you, but hover over it to see where it directs.

Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is a program that you can install to protect your computer from any computer viruses that might try to work their way in. These antivirus programs come in many forms – some are free, others you can pay for better protection.

These programs will scan your computer periodically to ensure it is virus-free, and you can use them to manually scan your computer if you’re suspicious.

However, antivirus software isn’t a catch-all thing you can count on. To thoroughly protect your computer, you should consider getting an anti-malware program downloaded so that no malware slips through the cracks.

Another thing that you should consider is getting an anti-spyware program on your computer. These specifically lookout for viruses that install things such as keystroke loggers – which would let the person on the other end of the virus know everything you type.

Contact Us Today

Now that you’ve learned how to protect your computer from hackers and viruses, you’re all set to use the internet without fear. You’re also ready to take the next steps.

There are two things you should do. First, if you want more tips on a variety of computer topics, you should sign up for our newsletter.

If you have a specific question though or want clarification on something, then you should contact us here.