Today, most people have personal information, including financial information and family photos on their personal computer. All it takes is one virus or worm to destroy all of your information, making it vital to protect your computer. Protecting your computer is the best way to ensure all of your personal documents are safe, and there are a variety of online tools that you can use to help you ensure all your information is out of the hands of hackers.
- Virus software is the number one way to protect your computer. Viruses can cause your computer to crash, which will then cause all of your saved documents, records and photos to be deleted. Make sure you update your antivirus software frequently for the best protection. You can download Avast, a free antivirus program for your personal computer to protect your data.
- Don’t click links in your email, and verify links are safe by typing the link in directly. If you have received an email from your bank telling you to log in, chances are that the link is a phishing site designed to get your login information. You can use Link Scanner to verify links before you click.
- If you are using Windows operating system, make sure you update regularly. You can get automatic updates Microsoft, and have the updates installed anytime that is convenient for you. Make sure that you have updates scheduled to install at regular intervals using the task scheduler or action center.
- Scan email attachments with your antivirus, even if they are sent from a friend or family member. Some email providers offer free antivirus scans for all email attachments to ensure they are virus free. The email service automatically scans for viruses, worms and other corruptions before you download any files.
- Encrypt sensitive data, such as financial records and personal information so that hackers won’t have easy access to your records and files if your computer is attacked. You can get encryption services online at
Update: Development on TrueCrypt has been discontinued since 2014, hence this is no longer a valid option. Please check this post for some of the alternatives to TrueCrypt.
- Don’t use your computer’s administrative account unless you are performing regularly scheduled maintenance. Since you need to be on the administrative account to make changes to your computer, it is safer to use another account at all times.
- Install a firewall, and use it. A firewall closes the channel that is produced when you log onto the internet, ensuring your computer is safe from incoming viral attacks.
- Use more efficient programs, such as Firefox web browser. Firefox is updated regularly, and allows for personalized safety and browsing.
- Protect against keyloggers with anti-logging software. Keyloggers are programs that create a file for every character you enter on the keyboard, giving hackers access to all of your passwords and information. You can get anti-logging software online at Encassa for free.
- Make sure that downloaded programs are free of corruptions before you install them using a scanner, such as Virus Total. You can email or send programs and files directly to Virus Total to ensure they are clean before you download them.