Protect PC From Computer Viruses and Hackers

Protect PC From Computer Viruses and Hackers, These days you can never be too careful when it comes to computer security, and it seems like there are more threats than ever.

Anything from phishing sites stealing your password, to ransomware that encrypts your data unless you pay up.

By far the most important thing you need to do to protect your devices is to simply keep them up to date.

I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes at this because it’s so obvious, but there might be some things you’re forgetting.

For example, when’s the last time you checked to see if your router’s firmware is up to date?

Another really important piece of software to update is Java.

Not to be confused with Javascript, Java is installed on practically every computer so it’s a huge target, but most people don even know to update it.

To do this, search for Java in the start menu if you’re on Windows, and this should bring up the Java Control panel, where you can check for updates.

I’d also definitely recommend going to the security tab and unchecking the box that says “Enable Java content for browser and web applications”, because you almost see Java apps anymore, and

As for your operating system itself, obviously you need to keep those automatic updates going, no matter how annoying they seem.

And if you’re a Windows 7 hold out, or even, I shudder to think, Windows XP, you should really just bite the bullet and update toWindows 10, or the latest

Yes, you might not like the look of Windows10, but whether you want to admit it or not, Microsoft did beef up the security, especially in the latest “Fall Creators Update”.

Specifically, they just added some great software exploit protection directly into Windows, that before was only available separately as part of the so-called “Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit”, an advanced piece of software

On older versions of Windows, you’re not going to get that.

Ok, so we get it, keep everything up to date.

Now we can get to some things that are a little less obvious.

Still, on the topic of Windows, one great thing you can do is set your Windows account to not be an administrator, but rather a standard user.

If you’re running on the admin account, the software you run might be run with high-level privileges by default, even though most don’t require it.

If you accidentally load up a piece of malware, or a malicious website finds an exploit in your browser, that virus might now have admin priveledges as well, with free reign

You probably won’t even notice the difference when running as a standard user, and if a program ever does need to escalate privileges, you’ll know about it, because Windows will simply

prompt you for the admin password, and continue as normal.

Another important feature built into Windows User Account Control or UAC, which has been around since Vista.

That’s the thing that pops up a confirmation whenever you or a program wants to install itself or change a Windows setting.

Even if you think it’s a bit annoying, you should always keep this on the highest setting, which it should be by default.

And don’t always mindlessly click confirm whenever it shows up.

Like if you’re just browsing the web, and all of a sudden you get a UAC prompt for no apparent reason, you should check to see what that caused it, because

there’s always a chance some virus in the background just tried to execute, especially if you’ve visited a sketchy website.

Now let’s move onto things that aren’t just for Windows, such as your router.

In the interest of time, I’m just going to assume you have the typical things like a password on your WiFi connection, and the router firewall enabled as it should be

But one set that is usually enabled by default that you should disable, is WPS, or Wi-Fi Protected Setup.

This is meant to make it easy to connect devices to your router by pressing a button on it, but it’s been shown to have really flimsy security and undermines your WiFi encryption.

If your router has this, it would probably be in the WiFi settings for your router.

And if you don’t know how to access your router settings page, you can usually go into a web browser and type in either the address 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.

The default password will depend on the manufacturer, but you can usually try ‘admin’ for the username, and either for the password, either try ‘admin’ or ‘password’.

Oh, and yes you should probably change those too, or else anyone who connects to your WiFi could change all your settings.

It makes it easier for devices and software to connect to the internet but is also a big security vulnerability.

However, you might need it if, for example, you have several Xbox’s that need to connect to the internet simultaneously, or multiple people want to use Apple facetime simultaneously, or other protocols.

Basically, I would look in the settings and try disabling it, but if things stop working, just re-enable it.

Alright next up, here’s another really practical tip you can use, which is to use a third-party DNS service, such as OpenDNS, instead of the default one provided by your

If you don’t know what DNS is, put simply, it converts any domain names you want to access into an IP address your computer can use.

So when you type in Google.com into your browser, your computer will ask your internet provider’s DNS server what the IP address is for Google.com.

Then it gives you the IP and your computer connects to that, but it all happens behind the scenes.

The advantage of using a third-party DNS service, is it could be faster, so web pages will respond faster, and in the case of OpenDNS, it has a big list

of malicious websites that it will automatically redirect your connection away from if you happen to stumble upon one.

Google also has its own set of public DNS servers you can use, but it does not do any filtering.

To change your DNS, you can do it either on a specific computer or on your router, which would apply to all computers on your network.

And it’s not as hard as you think, just go back to your router settings page, and somewhere in the connection settings you should see where it has an option for

It’s a really standard feature and every router should have it.

But if you see something that says DynamicDNS or ‘DDNS’, that’s something different, don’t change that.

Anyway, then you just have to put in the 2server addresses, which in the case of OpenDNS are 208.67.222.222, and 208.67.220.220.

In the settings, these might be called Primary and Secondary DNS respectively.

This next tip is pretty quick and basic, and hopefully should be obvious, which is to have antivirus software installed.

And ideally, you want one that has ‘real-time protection’, or something named similar to that.

This is essential because it will help prevent you from getting infected by viruses in the first place.

When you’re browsing the web, you might go on a website that is able to exploit your browser, or even a browser extension, and do a so-called drive-by attack.

In these cases, without protection, a virus could infect your computer even without you doing anything.

Also, it might be on a trustworthy website that was simply compromised itself, so you never know.

A good antivirus program, along with the other tips about keeping things up to date, and running as a standard user on Windows, all will make sure you’re safe.

Alright, this next one is something you should be doing no matter what, and NOT just for security.

Again, you might be rolling your eyes, but KNOW that there are a bunch of you that still haven’t done it.

These days it’s easier than ever, with cloud backup services that automatically back everything up online, or you can get an external hard drive and use Windows’ built-in backup feature,

Ideally, you’d actually do both local and online backup, like in the case of Ransomware, a virus might hijack and encrypt your whole computer, and the backup as well.

Or if a thief breaks in, or you have a fire or flood, your local backup might be destroyed.

But of course, a local backup would probably be faster to restore from.

Speaking of thieves and hard drives, one thing you should consider is encrypting your hard drive.

And this is especially so on a laptop, which you’re more likely to lose or forget somewhere, and is easier to steal.

Normally this used to only be for WindowsPro versions, and still technically is, but apparently many laptops and tablets that ship with Windows 10 or Windows 8, have what is

called “Windows Device Encryption” enabled by default, or as an option.

To see if it’s enabled, first go to Settings, then System, and in the About tab, it should mention device encryption and whether it’s enabled.

If you don’t see that anywhere, you can try searching for Bitlocker in the start menu, and accessing the settings there.

But again, you might need Windows Pro to use it.

Finally, I’ve got a couple of really quick tips to finish up.

I’ve said this one plenty of times, but never connect to Open Wi-Fi hotspots.

If they aren’t passworded, they aren’t encrypted, which means anyone nearby can intercept your wireless signal and see almost everything you’re doing.

Also, be aware of online account security, by using different passwords on every website.

This is really important because if a website database gets breached, and you use the same password for everything, you better believe that hacker is going to have bots running to

test out any username and password combinations in the database on all sorts of websites, not just the one that got hacked.

Also for accounts, you should enable two-factor authentication when you can, where the website will send you a text with a second code to type in when logging in, so even

if someone steals your password, they can’t get in.

So, I think that covers the most important things you should be doing to protect your computer.

If you have any more suggestions I might have missed, definitely let us know down in the comments.

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