PC virus protection has become more and more of a necessity these days for those who spend any amount of time, at all, on the internet. Every day a new computer virus, malware program or other internet risk is found or introduced to an unknowing cyber community. You can not always know where the infection is hiding but here are some PC virus protection tips to keep your computer clean and virus free.
Higher Risk Sites and Activities
Chances are you probably visit several online sites, on a monthly basis, that seriously test your pc’s virus protection and put you at a higher risk of a computer virus or other spyware and malware infections. To be completely honest nearly any site can be a culprit and you won’t be able to avoid every site that could potentially pose a risk to your system unless you chose simply to never access the internet again from this day forward.
What you can do however, is to be more aware of what you are doing when you are on some of the higher risk sites and limit activities that will put you at the greatest security risk.
Some of the sites known for posing a higher threat include (but are not limited to):
YouTube and other similar sites containing downloaded video and other content.
Facebook and MySpace, both prime candidates for the following reasons: downloadable apps, unsafe user provided content (pictures, links…) hackers and spam.
Community freeware sites that provide downloadable freeware created by the public.
Graphics and image sites – especially those that are free and allow public upload and download.
Email programs such as Yahoo and Outlook express. Not only because these services are free but they are more prone to spam and more sought out by hackers and other ne’er do wells looking to wreak havoc.
Activities that Put your Computers Safety at Risk:
Downloading unverified content (games, apps, music, videos, software, PDF’s etc).
Browsing the Internet without any PC virus protection software (anti virus).
Visiting unknown or unverified sites.
Many of the virus, spyware, trojans, worms and malware risks that come from sites and activities listed above are not all done intentionally. Regular everyday users uploading content to share with the general public are none the wiser to the fact that the content they are sharing was corrupted by hidden threats until it is too late.
Protecting Your Computer from Viruses
The very first thing you should do is get good computer protection software otherwise known as an antivirus program. These are offered by many different providers and you will find some available for free while others can cost you hundreds to keep your home internet system protected.
As far as what works best there are many people with varying opinions but some of the best free and paid computer protection software offered online right now are:
AVG Antivirus – this is offered in both free and paid versions. I have used both and for the most part I had great luck with the free version of AVG but much better protection from the paid version of the software. The free software seemed to keep my computer safe and protected from most infections but I did end up purchasing the paid PC Virus protection version when Win32 got through and infected my memory and other major files. Since my upgrade Win32 has been quarantined and new attacks (from several viruses, trojans and spyware) have been blocked, quarantined and eliminated. **
Kaspersky though I’ve never tried it this software that offers virus protection for computers came highly recommended by a trusted ‘computer guy’ we happen to know who works on systems for some schools and bigger companies. Definitely may try this when my current software becomes outdated but for the moment I am stuck on the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ line of thinking.
McAffee is another well known virus protection program. It is sometimes offered for free through some ISP but for the most part is a paid software.
I am not personally a big promoter of McAffee. Though their computer protection software may have seen some updates and improvements over the years back in the day it seemed to only serve the purpose of bogging my system down and preventing me from my online activities.
Norton’s Anti-virus , like McAffee, is sometimes offered as a part of your paid service through some internet service providers but is not offered free (outside of free trials) to the general public.
These are just of what is offered. One thing you do need to keep in mind is that not all anti-virus programs are going to work at keeping out spyware, adware and malware. Often these programs are compatible with each other so it is worth having both installed on your system.
Some programs that do include protection from spyware include: Malware Bytes, AVG Anti virus and Spybot Search & Destroy.
(** We spend no less than 12 hours a day online and many of our activities would be considered high risk)
Keep your System Updated and Secure
When you get a notification from your; operating system (such as Windows), anti-virus program or other installed and trusted programs that updates are available be sure to update. A lot of these contain vital security updates that are a necessary part of your internet and computer protection.
Some PC virus protection programs such as AVG offer a search bar tool that will monitor your search results and let you know whether or not links and sites check out before you click on the links to view the site.