Tips on avoiding nasty computer virus and malware infections
It's easy to stumble into Internet dangers and have your computer infected before you know it, with each mouseclick recorded, each email scanned by malware, or worse. Heck, you can end up being part of a botnet or zombienet, with your computer involved in illegal activities without you even realizing. Yikes. But there are smart strategies you can use to minimize the danger...
The most important step is to learn to be skeptical and suspicious. Yeah, nice advice, right? But it's true. There are a lot of people who write malicious software and are very savvy about psychology and what's called social engineering. There're the people who trick you into doing something that seems innocuous and actual ends up having a really bad consequence.
As an example, there are a lot of programs you can download that change the shape, size or image associated with your cursors on a Windows system, and plenty of others that are handy toolbars for your Web browser. Seems safe, right?
They're not. In fact, my Dad's computer got so badly overridden by viruses due to him naively installing a program that promised his cursor would become bigger and then brought a ton of viruses and malware onto the system that we ended up replacing it with a new computer. Really. It was easier and cheaper to get a new unit on sale than to spend the dozens - or hundreds - of hours required to scrub it clean of the infection.
And those browser toolbars? They can be just as much a problem. Think about it: they're going to track every single Web site you visit, every keystroke, every mouse click. Imagine one looked for credit card numbers, or login/password sequences. Yeah, not so smart.
The solution is to be really leery about installing additional utilities and helper apps on your computer. If it's a critical add-on, make sure you scan it and backup your data just in case. If it's not, then learn to use the standard tools included in your OS, whether you're Mac or PC.
Add tablets, smartphones, desktop vs. laptop, home vs. office systems, email attachments, and the zillion other complexities in our technological lives and it's daunting. There are a lot of risks. The smart thing to do, therefore, is to install some software that helps you not make dumb or naive mistakes and to also train yourself to do good backups and skip all those popular apps, add-ons and cute tweaks to your OS.
If you're like me, you're hooked on your smartphone, tablet, maybe even your laptop. What is your best tip for keeping all of your devices protected? Comment below and you'll be entered to win a $400 Amazon gift card from Kaspersky Lab.
One way to protect all of your devices is with Kaspersky ONE Universal Security. Download your FREE trial today.
More Useful Windows PC Help Articles:
✔ What's the easiest way to speed up my Windows PC laptop?
My Dell Windows 7 laptop is starting to drive me crazy. It's so darn slow! I've had it a few years and I...✔ Can I force a Windows 7 OS system update?
Every so often Windows 7 pops up a window and tells me that there are updates. That's nice, but how can I force...✔ Fix Google Drive (Gdrive) no longer supported (out of date)?
I'm a big Google fan and have been using Google Drive for quite a while as a cloud storage device. It's a breeze,...✔ How do I open or unpack a RAR archive on my Windows PC?
I have some ".rar" files on my Windows 8 PC and am curious how to unpack them to see what's inside. From a...✔ How can I shrink my Windows 8 Desktop file icons?
I've figured out most things in the new Windows 8 interface, except I can't see how to easily reduce or shrink the file...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+