Most of us have undoubtedly purchased a new home or business computer in this day and age. It’s typically an exciting day of experimenting with new technology and finding out how our new toy works, but not everyone considers the precautions that must be taken from day one to safeguard ourselves and our computer. PrivacyExplore has compiled a list of methods for safeguarding yourself and your computer from viruses, hackers, and thieves.
Utilize anti-virus and anti-malware software
On the internet, there are many anti-virus and anti-malware applications and apps—both commercial and free. When downloading free software, ensure that it comes from a trustworthy source and that the URL at the top of the page is the same as the one you clicked initially. Are you undecided? We’ve provided a link to some popular and reliable commercial and free anti-virus software in this section.
Along with antivirus software, anti-malware protection is a necessity. Utilizing Heimdal Security offers additional protection against threats that conventional anti-virus software misses.
Don’t be confident in all the pop-up notifications
Certain infections masquerade as well-known brands or applications already installed on your computer. Before you click on a notice (or download a software update), verify that the notification comes from a reliable source and is related to a program you have installed on your computer. If you believe you have outdated software, the safest course of action is to visit the manufacturer’s website and download it straight from the source.
Utilize a secure search engine
Anyone who uses the internet regularly has undoubtedly observed that the moment you look at a product online, you are shown an advertisement for it. Websites and search engines monitor not just your purchasing history, but also your user behavior. Fortunately, there are a few search engines that encrypt your search, ensuring that your “cookies” or browsing history cannot be traced. We suggest using DuckDuckGo.
Utilize the firewall and keep ALL Operating System software current
The newer versions of Windows (Windows 7–10) have pre-installed firewalls that activate immediately when you buy or power up your machine. While these firewalls are pre-installed, it is critical to keep your software up-to-date. As software is updated, the firewalls and programs it protects against are updated as well, making it critical to stay current with the newest software.
Ensure that you download extensions from a reputable site or store
Browser extensions may be very beneficial and enjoyable (especially around the holidays while shopping). They provide discounts, fast access to your favorite recipes, popular searches, maps, and weather—but the area is not without some nasty actors. Ensure that you download extensions on your mobile or desktop from a trustworthy store or website to ensure a positive experience!
Configure a VPN
When you are online, you are continuously transmitting and receiving data.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or perhaps other parties may have access to this information. As you can imagine, this implies that your data is neither safe nor confidential. A VPN encrypts data as it leaves your computer, routing it to one of the VPN provider’s servers located around the world before it reaches the public internet. Since the data is now encrypted, it is unintelligible and cannot be accessed by ISPs or other snooping parties. Your location seems to be that of the server you’ve selected, rather than your real location. Apart from location-based benefits, using a VPN provides security and privacy.
How can I get a VPN?
To begin with, you must choose a reputable VPN service. After doing internet research and determining which VPN package is the best fit for you, all you have to do is sign up. After registering, you will receive an email with further instructions. If the service you’re using is compatible with additional devices, such as smartphones and tablets, you may download the VPN client from the Google Play (Android) or Apple App Store (iPhone/iPad) stores. The good news is that the majority of premium VPN providers, like NordVPN, often include a free trial period. This allows you to evaluate the service before you commit to paying for it. Additionally, the top VPN services on the market provide superior customer service. If you run into any difficulties throughout the installation process, the support staff for your VPN service should be able to assist you. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Are free VPNs safe?” The simple answer is no. Free VPNs are often insecure, risky, and frequently sluggish. Spending a few dollars on a decent VPN is well worthwhile.
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you need a VPN, here are all the reasons you probably do.
- It disables trackers.
- It prevents your internet service provider from selling your data.
- It enables you to access previously restricted websites and movies.
- Enhances the security of public Wi-Fi.
- Increases internet security.