Three Ways to Protect Your Computer In 2017
Your personal computer is your life, practically. It holds private browsing history, a precisely organized calendar, many important downloaded or purchased applications/games, and stuff that helps you get through your life, whether it’s your email or Microsoft Office. While your computer may have all of the aforementioned attributes or just one, there’s an over-arching theme here: Your computer and any information you have stored on it are invariably important to you.
It’s because of this importance that you should never compromise your computer’s safety. For the most part, computers are relatively expensive pieces of technology, especially newer computers. Additionally, any information lost as a result of a damaged or hacked computer is, in most cases, irretrievable. Having security measures set in place to counteract any form of hacking, cyber terrorism, virus introduction, or identity theft is important.
Even if you don’t download any content from unreliable sources, your computer can still be subject to damage. You can avoid this damage, however, if you take note of the three tips in the reading below, all of which will help your computer stay free from technological havoc. Let’s take a look at three ways that an everyday computer user can protect his/her machine, without having to know much about computer technology!
Firewalls are the most basic form of computer protection. They prevent malicious viruses, worms, and other computer issues from attacking your computer over the internet. Firewalls can be manipulated by the owner of the firewall program to disable certain sites if thought to be dangerous.
Firewalls block harmful material from entering your computer in a variety of ways. Primarily, this happens in three ways. If an IP address accesses files from a server that’s unknown or unlisted by the firewall’s owner, the IP address may get blocked. This potentially derails hacking or any other malicious attempts to discern personal information. The second way a firewall function is by filtering certain domains. This is the main form of protection a firewall can provide. Many schools and companies use this function to filter out internet material that may be harmful to the computer or distracting to the student or employee. The third way a firewall can block material from coming in is a more advanced version of the last way. It can block sites based on certain signal phrases that might be associated with the harmful online activity.
Having a firewall is a great way to protect your computer. It’s not, however, the only step you’ll want to take.
Antivirus Software Installation
Viruses can wreak havoc on your computer. While some of them may be fixable and removable, some aren’t. Viruses can do a number of damaging things to your computer, including making it run slowly, preventing startup, and damaging internal hardware without your knowledge. There are many types of viruses, all of which can end your computer’s life if you aren’t careful.
Anti-virus programs help protect against malicious viruses. They function in a fairly straightforward manner, see here. They rely on heuristics and viral definitions, almost like a psychologist relies on the DSM 5 to accurately diagnose a mental illness. These programs perform two types of scans, on-site scans, and full-system scans, the latter of which can take a very long time.
On-site scans are performed almost every time you open up an application or a file on your computer. Your computer analyzes the file and matches it with known definitions of viruses, to see if the file or application matches up. If there is a match of any type, both you and your computer will be alerted.
Full-System Scans are more intensive, and only need to be performed when you first purchase the anti-viral software. This is to make sure that there aren’t any viruses that are lying dormant on your computer, without your knowledge.
Anti-Viral Software is the second piece of the security puzzle, but there’s one more piece we need to talk about.
Monitor Security Settings in Your Internet Browsers
While the previous two steps can provide a comfortable security blanket, optimizing and monitoring your internet’s browsing settings provides the pillow for a good night’s sleep. Most of today’s browsers have options to enable secure browser settings. You’ll want to make sure to turn on these settings, or risk being exposed to dangerous viruses such as Malware.
Having a well-filtered Firewall, a working anti-viral program, and adequate knowledge of your browser’s security settings will keep your computer safe and always available for your use.