- Computers & Software
How To Protect Your Home Computer
Isn't it frustrating getting on your computer and realizing it has the tell tale signs of being infected? Not only is it a giant pain in the butt, but it could cost you 100's of dollars to fix it. Do you know how to protect your home computer from viruses and hackers? Here are a few helpful ways to protect your PC.
Antivirus is a very good piece of software to have on your computer. It not only prevents viruses from infecting your PC, but can remove viruses that have already infected your computer. But what antivirus should you use on your home computer? I use Avast Pro Antivirus which has given me very good protection. If you don't want to have to pay for your software, though, Avast, AVG, and NOD32 are very good free antivirus software. They all do pretty much the same thing, but the paid version of Avast gives me a lot of extras that I like to have available. Look into each antivirus to decide which one you like best.
Another source of protection you can use to prevent your computer from getting infected is Anti-Malware. Techopedia.com states that "Anti-Malware is any resource that protects computers and systems against malware, including viruses, spyware and other harmful programs." I personally use MalwareBytes for protection on my home PC, but there are plenty of other programs you can find that will provide you with similar protection. The fact is, the more protection you have, the harder it is for someone to infect your system.
Have you ever heard of PeerBlock?
I use PeerBlock to protect my computer because I don't like companies, colleges, and even governments going through my personal information on my laptops at home. PeerBlock.com states:
"PeerBlock lets you control who your computer "talks to" on the Internet. By selecting appropriate lists of "known bad" computers, you can block communication with advertising or spyware oriented servers, computers monitoring your p2p activities, computers which have been "hacked", even entire countries! They can't get in to your computer, and your computer won't try to send them anything either.
And best of all, it's free!"
Does it really do what it says it does? The answer is yes. I have personally tested the software and it blocked ALL of my malicious attacks. The only downside is you may have to turn it off to access certain websites that don't use a secure connection to send you information (HTTPS). If the software blocks a website that you know is safe, simply click the ALLOW HTTP button and you will be able to access the site. This software will also block ads from questionable companies and pornographic ads.
Update Your Protection Software!!
This section is for the people who already have some protection on your computer. The problem with fighting hackers and programmers that make viruses and worms is that they go to work every day just like you do. Thousands of new viruses are programmed every year, so in return, Antivirus and Anti-Malware companies update their software to protect you from known new viruses. IF YOU TURN OFF YOUR UPDATES YOU WILL NOT BE PROTECTED AGAINST NEW VIRUSES. Sorry for the all caps, but this is the most important step you need to take to make sure you don't get infected. I know how annoying it is to have your Antivirus program updating in the background. It is a necessary step, though, to keep you protected. Suck it up, update your software, and keep your home network safe.
Mobile Phones And Tablets
One of the questions I am constantly asked is: "Can I protect my cell phone too?" Yes you can. Avast has a mobile Antivirus available for a few dollars, and there are a few other companies that have broken into the mobile Antivirus business. Did you know that most of your personal information that is taken to steal your identity could come from your phone? Think about it this way, most people's phones are unprotected. This opens a huge opportunity for hackers to build a virus to steal personal information. Viruses can record what you type in from your keyboard and send names of websites, usernames, and passwords to the hacker that infected your phone. Ever visit your bank account on your phone? Your personal information could be available to someone if you have not protected your phone or tablet from viruses. A few dollars is way cheaper than fighting a credit card company for thousands of dollars that you didn't spend.
Have you ever gotten a virus or other malware?
Emails And Spam
Hackers are trying to steal your information on a daily basis. Not necessarily YOU, but people you know, and people close to you may be targeted. Opening emails from people you don't recognize is a bad idea. Viruses can be hidden in emails in the form of photos or links that you click on. Don't open emails that claim to be giving you free money, claim to be your long lost relative, or have other sensationalist claims. Also, emails that seem to come from your bank or someone trusted that ask for your personal info or pin should not be answered. YOUR BANK AND PHONE COMPANY WILL NEVER CONTACT YOU BY EMAIL TO GET PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM YOU. If you get an email like this, do not respond to it, call the company or loved one that contacted you and see if they really needed information. Chances are their email was spoofed and the email came from someone who wants to do bad things with your identity.
I hope this hub has opened your eyes to the dangers of not protecting your electronic devices. If you need any more help with protecting your home computer, go to your local PC repair shop, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to give this article to your family members or friends to make sure they get protected too. As always, thanks for the view, and I hope you read a few more of my hubs! Check out my site http://www.how2techblog.com for more technology blog posts!