I thought it would be important to touch base with you all on a question that many of my customers ask all the time, “How can I keep from getting infected?”. Great question!
The unfortunate truth is that no matter what protection you are using, there is no 100% to never get infected if your computer is online. Sure, you could use your computer and not have the internet -but would that be so much fun? Probably not! This should be fun. You’re probably going to get an infection of some sort at one point or another, but following these 10 tips can help you avoid getting your computer infected.
#1 Stop Downloading Free Stuff
Have you ever heard the saying, there’s no such thing as a free lunch? This holds so true when it comes to comes to downloading free stuff from online. So many times you will see pop ups saying to “download this tool to speed up your computer” or even downloading free screensavers or wallpapers -just don’t! This is one of the most common ways to get a computer infection.
#2 Watch Out for Adult Sites
Adult sites are prone to having malware installed on them. We’re not going to get into our personal beliefs morally about adult content; but will say that if you browse them you will get infected. It’s not a matter of if you will get infected -you will. With the adult websites being such a large industry, the websites are always having malware embedded into them. Since those websites are infected, your computer becomes infected when browsing the content.
#3 Be Careful Opening Emails
Hey, your cousin Jimmy just sent you an email with a strange title.. don’t click just yet! Email addresses are always being taken advantage of and used to spam emails. If you see some strange emails coming into your inbox, call up that person and ask if they sent it. Likewise if a friend calls you up and notifies you that they got a strange message, you should change your email password to something more secure. Yahoo and Hotmail email addresses seem to be more prone to these attacks.
#4 Stop Being So Click Happy
Yeah, we’re all guilty of getting click happy at one time or another. Shoot, I’ve done it before! If you ever see an advertisement for a “free iPad” -it’s probably not real. If you think about it, how could someone be able to give you a $700 iPad for you filling out a 10 second survey? If it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is.
#5 Keep Your Malware and Virus Protection Updated
This almost goes without saying, but you need to be keep your antivirus and anti-malware tools up to date. Although this still doesn’t guarantee you won’t get infected, it is your best shot at staying protected. You would think that having more than one antivirus would offer more protection; it doesn’t. If you have multiple anti-virus programs installed they will fight each other and let anything through. We also have a great article on what antivirus you should use.
#6 Make Sure You Keep Windows Updated
Microsoft ( who makes your Windows operating system ) constantly releases new updates. These updates are typically security patches or stability fixes. Although some updates can cause a computer to crash, you really should keep them updated. You can even set up automatic updates.
#7 Stop Letting Just Anyone Log In Remotely
As I am writing this, we actually have a customer talking to Scott who let Geek Squad log onto her computer. They were logged in trying to fix issues for over 6 hours -and left with the computer still having issues. She had to bring her computer into our shop because Geek Squad somehow locked her mouse to where she couldn’t do anything. Needless to say we fixed the issue! The lesson to learn is don’t let just anyone log into your computer remotely; especially if they are not from a reputable company.
My mother-in-law actually called me up the other day saying how someone stating they were from Microsoft called her. They told her that her computer was sending out errors and they needed to log into it to resolve them. This was a scam! Fortunately she didn’t fall for their tricks and didn’t give them access. If she had, they could have held her computer hostage! P.S. They weren’t really Microsoft.
#8 Stop Downloading Free Music & Movies
Similar to item number 1 in our list.. downloading illegal movies and music will always get you infected! Legalities aside, this is a guaranteed way of getting infected. Ever heard of uTorrent, Frostwire, or Limewire?
These programs allow you to download files from other peoples computers with ease -including their infections!! If you want to download media try legitimate outlets such as HULU, iTunes, or Netflix streaming service.
#9 Call for Help!
Although there is no way to 100% never get infected, these tips should help quite a bit! If you are on the computer and something pops up that you’re not sure on, give us a call! Our phone number can be found on our contact page by clicking here. Need more advanced help? Drop off your computer for a free diagnostics. Unlike many other computer shops, we don’t charge anything to take a look. Thanks so much for taking the time to read through this article! We look forward to hearing back from you soon.