How to avoid security threats on the internet

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While having antivirus software installed is an effective way to secure your computer, often the best way is to avoid downloading threats in the first place. Obviously, not all threats can be avoided. However, by implementing some of the following tips, you may be able to protect your computer from serious harm in the future.

Check your antivirus software settings: Sometimes, your antivirus software may come with a lot more capabilities than you are aware of. Look at the settings to see if it has browser security features, which will prevent you from visiting dangerous websites, or, at the very least, give you a warning before they install scripts onto your computer. This is especially useful for shared computers in a household, where children or technologically-unaware adults may be inadvertently downloading viruses.

Perform regular computer maintenance: Regardless of whether you’re having virus troubles or not, regular computer maintenance is an easy way to keep your PC running smoothly. Defragment, clear out junk files, uninstall unused programs, and perform disk checks in order to preemptively strike back at any viruses. To keep your browser running safely, delete old cache and cookie files, which can often harbor viruses and other types of malware.

Learn to recognize internet scams: There are thousands of people on the internet who want to gain access to your PC. They will use scam techniques, like fake letters, spam, viruses, and more in order to do just that. If you want to outsmart these criminals, then you need to familiarize yourself with various popular internet scams. While it can be difficult to recognize these scams 100% of the time, learning how hackers operate will make it significantly harder for them to target you.

 Establish an effective firewall: A good firewall will quickly prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer. Sometimes, firewalls can be bundled as part of antivirus software. They are also frequently found pre-installed on routers, Windows operating systems, and other devices that are connected to your computer. However, you can never be too safe. Adjust your settings to make sure that a firewall is constantly running in the background of your PC.

Don’t automatically add new contacts to your instant messaging list: In fact, be very wary of any instant messaging programs you have installed. While they may not be as commonly used as they were several years ago, instant messaging programs are still a popular target for hackers. If you don’t recognize somebody in your contacts list, or they have been sending you suspicious links, then it could be a bot designed to trick you into giving up information.

Use Peer-to-Peer software carefully: One of the largest sources of viruses is the peer-to-peer community, which allows open trading of music, movies, games, and more. Sometimes, viruses will be hidden within a new movie release, for example, which then installs itself on your computer. To prevent this from happening to you, always read through the comments before downloading anything on the internet, and be particularly wary of first-day movie releases.


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