So lets face it. The number one threat to your computer and you is malware. From Ransomware to Scareware we are all being bombarded every day with some type of Internet threat. Some of us know how to deal with it and a lot of us are unfortunately ripe for the picking so to speak. It’s a sad reality but true that over 85% of all computer repairs are usually directly related to malware.
First and foremost, what the heck is malware? Malware is a term that was created to encompass all of the things that are bad for you and your computer. Terms you are familiar with today like virus, scareware, hijackers, trojans and all of the other terms fall under the malware umbrella.
How In the World Can You Stay Safe Today?
Today is THE most dangerous time ever known to computer, people, and networks. In other words there has never been a time that less than honest people were given so much power to harm others while making money doing it. There is so much money involved in fact that entire corporations have formed for the sole purpose of coming up with new ways and manipulating old ways in order to get passed any security that may stand in their way.
Their key source of income is sheer number of attempts. The more attempts they make every day and the number of different ways they make those attempts creates an unending revenue stream of hundreds of millions of dollars. More than enough money to motivate them to grow and become even more creative at simply being connected to the Internet.
Using a few techniques can remove you from their list of victims
- Never open email attachments
- Use Anti-Malware/Virus protection
- Use Local and Online Backup
- Never Follow Links Inside an Email (Type it in manually, call if not sure)
- Have a PC Helper You Can Call On When Needed
There actually are ways you can help keep yourself safe from today’s Internet dangers. First and foremost remember that there is no single protection that is going to keep you safe from 100% of the threats 100% of the time.
Using a multi-layered method of protecting your computer and your files will help make sure that you don’t end up losing everything or needlessly spending hundreds of dollars trying to get your computer fixed and your files back.
Step 1 Anti Malware Virus Protection
So we have all had it drilled into our head over and over. Virus protection! So that really creates a whole new and confusing question doesn’t it…which one??? There are a whole bunch of different ones out there and they all vary in price from expensive to free. To make matters worse there are hundreds of so called review websites out there claiming that certain protection programs are better than others.
Bottom line is like I said above, no antivirus program is going to protect you 100% of the time from 100% of the threats. To make matters worse having an antivirus and/or antimalware program installed can even make you more likely to get a virus!
Let me explain that one real quick. Most people that have protection installed get a false sense of security, let their guard down so to speak and before they know it are even more infected than someone that may not have any protection installed at all
Step 2 Beware of ALL Email
Whether it is an email from someone you know or from a stranger never NEVER open an attachment until you verify that email. One of the most popular ways for malware to get from computer to computer is through an email attachment. Phishing emails are another danger that you can never really be sure of.
What’s a phishing email? An email that looks exactly like it’s from your bank, credit card company or any other source that is either asking you to reply to the email with information or wants you to follow a link in order to verify information. This is the number one way cyber criminals get hold of your birth date, social security number or log in information of a number of different websites. If you get an email from your bank or credit card company always contact them directly not through email. It’s not really a good idea to give out information over the phone either, after all, shouldn’t they already have it??
RANSOMWARE! It’s a For Real Thing!
The big money maker for a lot of cyber criminals right now is Ransomware. Like the Crypto Locker and FBI Ransomware viruses only a lot better today. They get hold of your files and pictures and make it so you can’t open them anymore. In fact NO ONE can open them anymore except for the cyber criminals. To make them to where you can open them again they want hundreds of dollars from you.
Don’t be misled because more companies haven’t sounded the LOUD alarm on these yet. They have their files backed up in multiple places 9 times out of 10 so while a pain in the rear the monetary loss is really low. Home computer users on the other hand are losing pictures and files by the thousands. Some are even paying the ransom because the can’t afford to lose those irreplaceable pictures.
You can keep yourself safe in two simple steps
- Local Backup To External Hard Drive
- Live Online Backup
Ransomware hits you and you have current backups you are not really going to lose anything are you? Problem is that a majority of home computer owners never backup. It’s to much of a chore and online backup is just another unwanted expense.
Have a Reliable Computer Helper to Call for Help
Having an experienced computer friend that not only fixes you computer when it breaks but just answers questions and helps you out likely one of the best things when it comes to keeping you safe and saving you hundreds of dollars. Have a question about whether something is on the up and up? Give your PC Helper a shout.
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