In the computer world, protecting your system from viruses, hacks, and other threats required a multi-layered approach. That protection starts the day you buy your computer. One of the first things you should do is have the purchase location install an anti-virus program. For the most part all anti-virus software serves the same purpose, so brand is a matter of choice. The key is to make sure you use something. Your new computer is most vulnerable as it comes out of the box and is connected to the internet for the first time.
Remember, one of the first things that will happen when the computer goes online is software packages checking to see if there are updates available. Almost every productivity program in existence undergoes updates and revisions. This includes Windows, Linux, your anti-virus software, firewalls, and office products (both Microsoft and freeware). Even the computers’ Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) goes through revisions that are designed to fix bugs and make the machine work better.
Your computer (or software) will want to update itself and this is where the problem can come in. If you aren’t protected by a virus scanner, firewall or other software actively searching for bad programs, you are at risk.
It no longer requires opening a bad email to infect your computer. Some websites have been proven to contain malicious code that runs as soon as you access the page. In other words, just surfing the web to a site that looks like Google (but isn’t) can cost you big. Some web browsers are designed to combat this, but no software is perfect. That’s why I mentioned the layered approach above.
1. Antivirus software – the brand doesn’t really matter so long as it’s easy to use, easy to update and the interface makes sense to you. (if the interface is difficult chances are you won’t even use it)
2. Anti malware software – not the same thing as antivirus. These programs exist solely to look for things much worse than viruses.
3. Update the antivirus and anti malware software often
4. If you have Windows, make sure the automatic updates function is turned on – Microsoft frequent releases fixes for security bugs. They also release revisions to Windows and Microsoft Office that can be computer and data savers!