How to Avoid Virus Attacks on Your Computer

Attracting a virus is a huge concern for people, and for good reason. Similar to illnesses, computer viruses are easy to catch and hard to get rid of. Some viruses can be installed for several months before you even notice a problem with your computer. Plus, there are more than 1 billion malware programs out there, and over 500,000 new ones are detected every day. People are trying really hard to steal your data! 

We don’t mean to scare you, but we do want to educate you on viruses and how to avoid these  attacks on your computer. The more aware you are of scams, the less likely you are to contract malware. Follow these tips to avoid virus attacks on your computer.

Install Anti-Virus Software

Make sure you have quality anti-virus software installed on your computer. These programs will detect, delete, and prevent malware from wreaking havoc on your device. There are free versions out there, but they do not provide you with full protection. Trust us; this is something you want to spend money on. It’s not worth the risk of having your data stolen to save a few dollars. Norton and McAfee are good anti-virus software you can install on your computer for full security protection. 

Keep Your Computer Up-to-Date

Regularly installing updates is a great way to protect yourself from virus attacks. Many software updates address security issues. As cybersecurity gurus learn more about potential vulnerabilities, developers can create fixes and enhancements to fight them. When you keep your computer up-to-date, you have the best and most recent security measures in place to keep your data safe. The updates are made to protect you! 

this is a person typing on their computer working to avoid a virus attack

Know How to Spot Scams

We’ve all received spam texts, emails, and phone calls. Although some are easy to spot, scammers are getting sneakier. They try to play to your fears and naivety to steal your personal information. Here are a few ways you can spot scams:

  • Unknown email address or email alias
  • Claiming your account has been locked
  • Password resets you did not request
  • Asking for a large sum of money
  • Notification that you won a contest you didn’t enter
  • Vague greeting 

If you receive any messages like this, do not respond and report it immediately to the FTC.

Don’t Open Suspicious Messages

Suspicious messages like the ones listed above are not uncommon. If (when) you receive dubious emails, don’t open them. You don’t need to open a message to see the sender and a preview. If you don’t recognize the sender and the preview seems fishy, ignore and delete the message. Sometimes, hackers will try to pose as someone you know, but the email will be wrong, or the message will seem random. If that happens, contact the person or company directly and confirm whether or not it was them trying to email you.

Also, don’t open or download attachments. Many scam emails come with attachments; if you open them, it downloads a virus on your computer that allows the hacker full access. Immediately delete these types of messages.

Avoid Sketchy Websites

Dangerous websites can gain access to your computer, too. You’ll know you’ve landed on a scam website because it will be filled with ads, pop ups, and malware. While search engines are generally good about filtering these websites out of search results, stay aware of what you’re clicking on.

To avoid sketchy websites altogether, follow these tips:

  • Install a web filter: The software automatically blocks you from accessing a list of websites they view as dangerous. 
  • Don’t guess a web address: It’s better to Google the name of a company to find the correct web address than try to guess. If you’re off by a letter or two, you could end up on a website trying to pose as that company. 
  • Don’t open questionable websites: You may find a link in an email (likely a phishing email), text, or search engine. If it seems suspicious to you, don’t open it. It’s better to be overly safe and cautious.
  • If it’s too good to be true, it is: Sites claiming to have free downloadable movies, music, or videos are likely a scam. Use your best judgment, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

this is a picture of a man smiling at his phone.

Backup Your Data

In case you do get a virus on your computer, make sure you have a backup copy of your data. The last thing you want is to completely lose everything stored on your computer. You can  upload a copy of your data on an external hard drive, the cloud, or backup software. Aim to back up your data at least once a week. For important documents, it should be every 24 hours. Depending on the modality you choose, backups can happen automatically. 

Although not always impossible, it’s very difficult to completely remove malware  from your computer. Viruses can be very complicated and tricky to troubleshoot without the help of an expert. If you suspect a virus is installed on your computer, discontinue use and bring it to a professional computer repair technician for removal. Stay safe out there!

About Tindall Tech

At Tindall Tech, we provide IT consulting, maintenance, and repair to a wide range of clients nationwide. We provide onsite (in-person) support in Kansas City, Raymore, Lees Summit, Belton, Raytown, and surrounding areas. We’re not just here to fix your tech problems – we want to help you solve your tech problems! We have experienced IT professionals with a history of success in Healthcare IT and Corporate America. We now specialize in serving Small Businesses looking for dependable, affordable, effective, and knowledgeable IT services. You can expect to receive quality service from our dedicated and talented team of IT experts.

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