Every single day, when your surf the internet, your personal computer is at risk of being invaded by malicious software like viruses (Trojans and its battalions), spyware, and adware programs. Collectively, these unwanted programs are what you call malware. They have the capacity to destroy your computer applications and files as well as track your personal information like credit card numbers, passwords, bank account, etc. These information might be sold to or given to people or entities with malicious intent.
You have the power to control and keep these malware programs from intruding into your personal files and infecting your personal computer. Here are some of the more relevant things that you can do:
If you are using the Microsoft Windows Operating System, you will see one important built-in tool that can prevent these malware programs to invade your computer, that is, the automatic update. It is essential that you keep your system updated especially with the important and recommended updates. When you install these updates, security bugs and lapses are resolved right away that prevents the malware programs from taking advantage and attacking your computer. There are three options to install these updates:
(1) you can automatically turn on the built-in windows update from your computer by clicking start>run sysdm.cpl, go to automatic updates tab, and tick automatic option;
(2) start>control panel>security>check for updates>install updates;
(3) go to the update website of Windows and download the necessary updates.
Aside from installing the necessary updates, it is also crucial that you have a firewall installed and running in your computer. Again, Microsoft Windows Operating System has a built-in firewall that you can automatically turn-on: start>control panel>security>check this computer's security status>firewall>on. The firewall filters what goes in and out of your computer and blocks programs that are deemed harmful to your system.
In addition to enabling your firewall, it is also crucial that you run the latest and updated anti-malware software programs such as anti-virus and anti-spyware. When you browse the internet, several if not all good anti-malware programs will continuously scan your computer with their real time protection and be able to detect and prevent malware attacks. It is important that you keep these programs up to date.
Another recommended protection is to regularly scan your registry as there are malware programs that are capable of intruding into your computer's registry. As registry are a bit more complicated when manually done, it is advisable that you install a good registry cleaner that will simplify the process for you and effectively remove any malware that may have invaded your system and keep them from coming back.
With all these tools that will protect your computer from malware attacks, it is fundamental that you also do your part by being a responsible PC user and internet surfer. You must exercise caution when visiting websites and more especially when downloading programs particularly the freeware. Most of the spyware and adware enters your computer through these freeware programs. As much as possible refrain from downloading freeware programs especially from unknown publishers. Take care of your computer. After all, your computer and the internet has become an integral part of your life.