2015 seemed to be the year that cybercrime really hit the front page and got the attention of the masses. With more people than ever before doing much of their shopping, banking, and socializing on the computer, cybercrime has become a big deal. So what can you do in the coming year in order to protect yourself from becoming a victim? Here are a few tips that you can implement in order to make your life a hell of a lot safer.
First of all you should enable automatic updates for ALL of your software. The big ones are your operating system, your internet browser, your antivirus software, and Flash. Flash is a huge one because there are constantly patches coming out that protect you from the clutches of hackers. I remember when I didn’t have Flash on automatic update. I would always forget to do it! Let’s face it – don’t try to kid yourself and think that you’re going to be able to remember to do it, because you won’t. The best laid plans of mice and men and all that.
Anyway, an even better idea might be to lose Flash altogether. More and more tech journals are calling for the end of this problematic software once and for all. However, some sites still rely on it. So it’s your choice. There are a few options about getting rid of Flash that you can consider, however the problem will still remain.
Another thing that you might want to do is to ensure that you’re running a good antivirus or antimalware program. These software are not the same – antivirus software will not always stop malware programs, and vice versa. This is because malware and spyware are programs that either install themselves or are unknowingly installed by the user. I had this problem once when I installed a software program that I needed in order to open .rar compressed files. However, unfortunately this program brought a piece of adware malware with it called Conduit that took over my browser and all my settings. In order to get rid of this software I had to use an antimalware program called Spyhunter. It did the trick. However the point is that Norton antivirus did nothing to prevent or remove this spyware. Viruses and spyware are two totally different things.
Another great thing to do is to ensure that you’re educated about the risks of malware and other internet dangers. I always tell people not to download software from those shady free software sites. These are known as internet “bad neighborhoods” and they are to be avoided. Other risks include torrent sites, adult sites, and gambling sites. These are always high risk when it comes to software that might install itself on your computer without your knowledge.
Downloading free software such as the one I did (RAR File Open Knife) is always high risk in that often other malicious software will piggyback onto your computer and you won’t know it until you open your browser and are suddenly redirected to a porn site. Use at your own risk!