In the digital age, no one can afford to take cyber security lightly. With virus and malware propagation at all-time highs, anyone who fails to appreciate these threats is setting the stage for large-scale security breaches. The consequences of having an infected device run the gamut from persistent inconvenience to full-blown identity theft, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep digital dangers at bay. Fortunately, doing so isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think. In the fight against viruses and malware, being proactive can do you a world of good.
Invest in Anti-Virus Software
These days, no internet-enabled device should be without anti-virus software. In light of how prevalent viruses and malware have become over the last decade, dependable anti-virus software is an absolute must for anyone who values online security. When shopping around for the right software, look for products that are favorably reviewed, offer comprehensive threat protection and provide easily-accessible tech support. The right software will be adept at detecting potential threats and stamping them out before they have a chance to materialize. For maximum security, make sure to run threat-detection scans on a regular basis.
Anti-virus software and network security accessories can work hand-in-hand to provide top-notch protection from an assortment of threats. With this in mind, consider investing in a good network security box. In addition to being small, user-friendly and affordable on virtually any budget, these boxes effectively protect every device connected to a home network from the whims of cybercriminals. So if network security is what you seek, a box can be an invaluable ally.
Install Updates Immediately
To get the most out of your anti-virus software, you’ll need to install updates as they become available. Since cybercriminals are constantly developing new threats and tweaking old ones, many software developers work tirelessly to keep up. Every update your anti-virus software rolls out is created to combat threats that have just sprung up. Needless to say, the longer you sit on these updates and allow them to pile up, the more vulnerable your devices become to viruses, malware and other dangers.
In addition to installing anti-virus updates posthaste, you’ll need to install operating system updates at your earliest possible convenience. Many of these updates enhance a device’s overall security and offer protection from emerging threats. That being the case, O.S. updates can be every bit as crucial to a device’s wellbeing as anti-virus updates. Failing to install these updates in a timely manner benefits no one but cybercriminals.
Exercise Caution When Visiting Unfamiliar Sites
When working to avoid viruses and malware, you’ll be well-served by avoiding suspicious sites and web pages. This is particularly true in the case of sites that feature an abundance of Flash ads. If your anti-virus software or web browser informs you that a page you wish to visit contains suspicious elements, it’s in your best interest to heed this warning. Should you choose to visit an iffy site in spite of a detailed warning, you have only yourself to blame for any consequences.
Be Mindful of the Links You Click
As a general rule of thumb, it’s not a good idea to click links found in emails, text messages and social media posts. In many cases, these links will redirect you to sites that are crawling with malicious software, potentially resulting in infection. It’s important to keep in mind that even if a link appears to be sent by a trusted friend or family member, this may not necessarily be the case. Certain cybercriminals are able to gain access to the names of your friends and family members through your social media profiles, enabling them to send you fraudulent messages under the guise of people you trust.
Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to spread their wares. While some of these individuals make their machinations fairly obvious, others are able to find success through subtler means. With new threats seemingly lurking around every corner, the internet can be a dangerous place in the absence of the proper protection. Luckily, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in the fight to keep your devices free of viruses and malware. Being proactive and keeping your guard up can help shield you from an ever-expanding array of digital dangers.