The Internet is a powerful medium that allows millions of users to chat, play games, download music, gather important information, and perform other various activities. All this has made the Internet an indispensable part of our daily lives. Although the Internet is useful, it also puts our personal and confidential information at substantial risk.
Using the Internet unwisely may make your system vulnerable to malware infections and an easy target for hackers. In this article, we will present some common Internet security tips that you can follow to safeguard your PC from Internet threats.
Do Not Open Attachments from Unsolicited Emails
Attachments that come with unsolicited emails can contain malicious programs, such as viruses, malware, and worms. These malicious programs often cause severe damage to your system. Therefore, it is best that you immediately delete any unsolicited emails you receive. You must also scan the attachments that you receive from known sources before opening them. It is recommended that you install antispam software that can automatically scan and prevent infected emails from appearing in your email program’s inbox.
Do Not Use Peer-to-Peer Networks
Avoid using peer-to-peer networks because they are common carriers of malware and virus infections. Files downloaded from P2P networks are often embedded with viruses and spyware. In addition, you give permission to other Internet users, including hackers, to access files on your computer when you use P2P software.
Download Free Software from Reputable Websites
You must be careful when downloading free software available on the Internet. Freeware is often laced with malicious programs, which if given entry may cause severe damage to your PC and steal your personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Download freeware only from reputable websites that have confirmed the software is virus and malware free.
Keep your Operating System, Software, and Drivers Up-To-Date
It is important that you keep your operating system, software, and drivers updated with the latest hotfixes, patches, and security releases from the manufacturer on a regular basis. Using the most recent version of a program will remove any security vulnerability that may have been present in its previous version. As a result, your computer will be less prone to viruses and malware infections that exploit security vulnerabilities.
Use Strong Passwords
Ensure data security by using strong passwords for your online accounts and your system files. Do not use your name or birth date as a password since they are easy to crack. Instead, use a password that contains alphanumeric characters and is at least eight characters long. Also, do not store passwords on your system. If remembering all your passwords is difficult, use a password manager program to organize and manage your passwords. A good password manager program will encrypt all your passwords that it manages. In addition, never share your password with anyone else.
Install and Use a Firewall
Use a firewall to control the information that goes in and out of your system. A firewall prevents unauthorized access to your system. Make sure that you keep both incoming and outgoing firewall protection active.
Install Antivirus and Antispyware Tools
Use an antivirus and an antispyware tool to keep your system protected from malicious programs, such as viruses, worms, adware, and spyware. Configure these tools to perform regular full system scans on your computer. Also keep these tools up-to-date with the latest virus definitions and security updates to enable them to identify and protect your system from the latest threats.