4 essential ways to protect your computer

Greetings fellow humans.  We wanted to put together a small list of ways that you can protect yourself from viruses, spyware and malware.  We hope you find it helpful.  If you have any questions, please comment on this post and we will be glad to give you more information.

Buy Anti-Virus Software (and use it)

  • Make sure to keep your computer updated with the latest “virus definitions.”  A high quality program, such as Kaspersky, will automatically update your computer with the latest protection against the newest threats
  • Run an anti-virus scan frequently.  You can set-up your anti-virus software to scan your machine at a certain time each week, preferably selected when you aren’t likely to be needing your computer but at a time when your computer is turned on.  Meaning, don’t ask for a midnight virus scan but shut your computer off at 11:00pm as you turn in for the night
  • Do not use more than one anti-virus software at a time.  They will often cause your computer to run very slowly or completely crash.
  • Enable your anti-virus software’s plugin to work in conjunction with your preferred internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, IE).  This will help prevent malware and spyware.
  • We strongly recommend Kaspersky Anti-Virus and often refer to it as the “Russian Mafia” in anti-virus protection.

Internet Browsing

  • This is a really important one.  We have had countless customers come into the shop with a machine that is infected with viruses and spyware.  The last thing they remember doing with the computer was searching the internet for something quite innocent, like, “2011 Ford F-150 parts” or “Microsoft Office” and click on one of the first few links and a website comes up with a dialogue box that you have to click “ok” on. You should double check the website URL / address (example: http://www.thegoodgeeks.com/virus-spyware-removal/) and make sure it looks legitimate.  Especially when searching for specific websites, make sure you are going to Microsoft.com or Amazon.com – lots of fake websites that look like the real deal appear in search results.
  • If you find yourself with a virus or malware infection you might find yourself getting a phone call.  They will call and claim to be from legitimate XYZ company and let you know for the bargain price (sarcasm) of $249.00 they will take care of your infection remotely.  This isn’t possible and this company is not real.  NEVER give your credit card information over the phone to a company that calls you.  They infected your computer and are scamming you out of your money.
  • Use a good ad blocker in conjunction with your anti-virus plugin with your browser to give you added protection

Be careful with email

  • This was a big concern years ago but the problem is coming back with a vengeance.  Emails that appear to be real and come with attachments that are really disguised viruses.  Don’t open the attachment or you will likely be installing a virus or malware.
  • Only open email attachments from folks you know and if the email does come from someone you know but the contents (language) doesn’t make sense, it could be that the sender’s computer was infected and their address book has been compromised. When receiving an email that doesn’t seem “right” – get in touch with the sender and let them know that you think their machine might have an infection.

Use complex passwords

  • Use complex passwords that aren’t easily guessed and include uppercase and lowercase letters as well as at least one numbers and preferably use symbols.
  • Don’t use the same password on every site.  It might be a pain to have multiple passwords for your email, bank, credit cards, etc, but it is another effective way to protect yourself and your private information.

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