As technology develops over the years, everyone is becoming increasingly more reliant on devices such as smartphones or personal computers (laptop/desktop) to perform day-to-day transactions such as iBanking and e-commerce. The increase of such transactions and the lucrative potential to extract our personal details (e.g. credit-card numbers and bank account passwords) makes everyone a potential target to malware and Trojans that are lurking around.
Here are 5 simple ways which are FREE that you can use to protect yourselves from internet threats!
1. Install Anti-Virus Software
It’s a fallacy that free stuff are poor stuff! I’ve been using Avast for many years without any issue – it’s free, easy to install & update and effective! You need only register once a year to keep using it. (bonus: never ever click on the button to get a paid version as the free one is good enough!).
2. Religiously Update your OS & Browser
Whenever your Operating System (OS) or Browser asks you to update it, do it as soon as possible instead of ignoring it as this helps to patch up loopholes where malware can sneak in! (Bonus: Always set a scheduled time to do automatic updates. The scheduled time could be a time when you are taking a shower or watching TV.)
3. Create & Use an Account without Administrator Rights
Without administrator rights, it is very difficult for malware to infect your system, so always do your work with a standard basic account. The steps to create such an account in Windows can be viewed here.
4. Never Click on Links in Unsolicited Emails or whatapp messages
No matter how real or urgent an unsolicited email sounds, never ever click on any link in it unless you can first google its title and content to be sure that it’s not a malicious email or simply check with an IT-trained pal.
No matter how real the discount or offers are, never ever click on any link. Remember: if it’s too good to be true, it is not true!
Starbucks / KFC giving away $500 voucher just by answering 3 questions. It is very obvious that it’s a link-scam and clicking on the link might allow malware to infect your system.
Bonus: You can use these free online tools to help check if the link has malicious intent.
- http://www.urlvoid.com/ to check full URLs
- https://sitecheck.sucuri.net/ to check short URLs such as goo.gl or bit.ly
5. Back Up Your Data
Today, there is no foolproof way of stopping malware because the bad guys will always find another new way to get you, so always back up your data regularly via a portable hard disk or an online drive. I personally use Google Drive as it’s free (first 15GB only!) and secure (so far!!!).
Be sure to protect yourself from unnecessary danger by practising our 5 basic and free tips to safeguard your computer. Remember to comment below if you have other free tips to share with all the other geeky readers.