Malware and other threats can make the cybersphere a scary place. However, with so many processes and services hinging on computing technology, users must learn how to protect their devices and sensitive data against cybercriminals. There are a number of strategies that can be leveraged as part of a layered security approach to malware protection and prevention, including the following:
Ensure that all security updates and patches are installed
Oftentimes, users will put off installing updates and security patches as it can take them away from the task at hand, requiring them to restart their computer to finish the process. However, this is a practice that should be avoided to ensure protection against malware and other safety risks. Hackers are known for utilizing unpatched vulnerabilities in Microsoft, Adobe and other programs to their advantage to infect users. Keeping these systems patched and up-to-date essentially blocks this attack vector.
Avoid suspicious links and emails
Another infection technique commonly leveraged by cybercriminals is the use of links or emails laced with malware that attack a system when clicked or opened. Therefore, users should keep a watchful eye out for anything that looks suspicious, including spam emails and unsolicited links.
The same goes for websites
Emails and attached links aren’t the only online items that can be used to disguise malware. Hackers also leverage legitimate-appearing websites to trick users into entering their personal information. Some pages are even created to mimic those of well-known companies or online services. If anything appears out of the ordinary on the page – including the Web address, website features or other aspects of the site – users should exercise caution, avoid entering any sensitive data and close their browser.
Look into programs before downloading
Hackers have also been known to attach infections directly into downloads, including software applications. This is especially true with free or trial versions of programs. Before installing anything new onto a computer, it is imperative that the user do his or her research, and look into the program’s track record and others’ reviews to determine its legitimacy.
Leverage strong, unique passwords
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many users are still using easily guessed passwords, or the same authentication credentials across all of their accounts. This means that if a cyberthief is able to guess one password, they essentially have the key to open all other accounts associated with that user. For this reason, individuals should be sure to utilize strong, unique passwords for each of their accounts, including a mix of letters, numbers and special symbols where possible.
Install industry-leading anti-virus software
One of the best protections against malware and other security risks is the use of an advanced anti-virus program. This software keeps a watchful eye over the system for any sign of infection and any symptoms associated with an attack. This way, users can be proactive in their malware protection, blocking and preventing infiltrations before they happen.
Faronics’ Anti-Virus has been named the best anti-virus program this year, providing all the protection users need to guard against threats.