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5 Best Ways to Protect your Computer from Viruses and Malware

The best way to avoid getting a computer virus and the cost of having it removed from a virus removal specialist is to just disconnect from the Internet. This sounds like a really easy solution, but who can stay off the Internet when there is so much to do. If your computer isn’t connected to the Internet, it can’t get a virus, unless you’re sharing files with disks or USB drives.

Protect Your PC – Step 1: Anti-Virus and Firewall Programs

The first step you should take in avoiding getting a virus is to make sure your computer has an antivirus program, and a firewall program and these programs need to be continually updated with the most current versions and/or definitions. There are many companies that make antivirus and firewall programs packaged together and these are fine. Some that come to mind that are considered the best virus protection are Norton, Kaspersky, ESET and others. There are also free programs like avast and AVG which will provide very good antivirus protection from viruses for free. If you go with a standalone antivirus program, then you need to make sure that you also install a firewall program like Zonealarm. No matter what you install, you may not be completely protected because these programs need to be used in conjunction with an aware user. You can’t just install these programs and go clicking on everything and not expect to get a virus.

Protect Your PC – Step 2: Keep programs and OS updated

The next step in protecting your PC is to make sure that your operating system is up to date, whether that is a Windows operating system or a Mac. With Windows, you need to make sure that your version of Windows has the most current service pack installed. Currently, Windows XP is at service pack 3, Vista is at service pack 2, Windows 7 is at service pack 1. Once your service pack is updated. You need to make sure you have all the security updates installed through the Windows update site. As Microsoft finds flaws in their operating system, they make these patches to help keep your computer safe from intruders, but you can’t stop there, as there are other programs that need updating as well. It is a good idea to keep any program that uses the Internet updated at all times, these include programs like Java, flash, Internet browsers, and others.

Protect Your PC – Step 3: Use Anti-virus programs that pre-scan webpages

The third way to protect your PC could have been included along with step one, but I figured it was important enough to be on its own. Antivirus programs these days have built-in webpage scanners to scan pages before you even visit. I would make sure my antivirus program had this feature. One of the most common ways of getting a virus or malware on your computer these days is from browsing over to an infected webpage. Now these pre-scanning antivirus programs, will check the website before you go there and block it if it is infected. A very nice and valuable feature to have.

Protect Your PC – Step 4: Watch out for pop-ups

The fourth way I suggest you to protect your PC is to pay very close attention to the pop-ups and suspicious Windows that appear on your screen. The problem with these types of pop-ups is that they can be programmed to install a script when you click anywhere on the pop up or window. If it seems out of place and is awfully suspicious than the best thing to do would be to open up task manager by press control-alt-delete and ending the process or application associated with the pop up or window that is suspicious. You can also right-click the program on the taskbar and select close. Usually, you will not have this problem if you follow my first three steps in securing your computer, but sometimes these pop-ups slip in there and you just need to be cautious. A click happy user is more vulnerable to viruses than a cautious user.

Protect Your PC – Step 5: Only browse the internet with a standard user account

The fifth and probably best way to protect your computer from falling prey to viruses and malware is to simply create a standard user account on your computer and only use this account when connecting to the Internet. Most home computer users log into their computer with an administrator account so they can install programs and make changes to their PC easily, but if a program infiltrates their system then they also have administrator rights as well. On the other hand, a standard user typically isn’t able to install software. If malware or a virus attacks your PC, then they are limited to the rights of the account that you’re logged into currently.

5 Ways to Protect your PC – Conclusion

To sum up, make sure you have an updated antivirus program and firewall, keep your operating system and Internet-based programs updated at all times, make sure your antivirus program pre-scans websites for you before you visit them, be very cautious of pop-ups, and make sure you use a standard user account when accessing the Internet.

If your computer is infected with a computer virus, malware or spyware and you are having trouble removing it, give us a call and we can help you with you computer virus removal.

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