Malicious software, commonly known as “malware,” can have a variety of undesirable effects on infected devices. Depending on the type of malware a device contracts, the results can range from mildly inconvenient to downright debilitating. In extreme situations, malware infection can lead to data theft and permanently damaged devices. Fortunately, nipping malware in the bud doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Putting the following pointers to good use can reduce your risk of malware infection in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Promptly Install Operating System Updates
There’s no denying that installing operating system updates can be cumbersome. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to half-an-hour and invariably culminates in people having to restart their computers. Additionally, we’re often made aware of updates immediately after booting up our computers – when the last thing we want to do is go through another boot up. As result, many of us put system updates on the backburner for days, if not weeks, if not months. However, unbeknownst to a fair number of us, this can have a significant impact on an operating system’s ability to combat viruses and malware.
Many updates are designed to fight new and emerging security threats. Since virus makers and malware developers are always finding new ways to spread their wares, O.S. developers are in a constant race to keep up. That being the case, failing to install a single update in a timely manner may expose you to a growing array of cyber threats. While installing updates may be bothersome, it’s also one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your devices from malware infection. So the next time your O.S. makes you aware of an update, make sure to install it posthaste.
Equip Your Devices with a Good Anti-Virus Program
In addition to keeping your operating system impeccably up to date, you’ll need to invest in a dependable anti-virus program. The right software will be able to protect your devices from an ever-expanding array of viruses and assist in malware removal and prevention. As is the case with your operating system, you’ll need to install updates for your preferred anti-virus program in order to get the most out of it. After all, there’s no sense complaining about an anti-virus program being ineffective if you’re currently sitting on a treasure trove on uninstalled updates.
Keep Your Browser Up to Date
Regardless of which browser you use, keeping it up to date can prove very helpful in the fight against malware. In addition to always running the most recent version of your preferred browser, take care to install updates for your various browser plug-ins as they become available. Although some browsers will automatically install pertinent updates upon being opened, this isn’t always the case. Like with your operating system and anti-virus software, make a point of installing browser updates as they become available, even if doing so presents a minor inconvenience.
Exercise Caution with Email Attachments
Email attachments are a popular avenue through which malware is spread. Since many people don’t think twice before opening email attachments, there’s little wonder as to why. For this reason, it’s important to exercise caution when dealing with email attachments and avoid opening any attachments that seem even remotely suspicious. Even if an attachment purports to be from a trusted friend or family member, you’d be wise to review the body of the message before proceeding to open the attachment. If you’re unsure about an attachment, the best course of action is to abstain from opening it. A little bit of caution can save you a tremendous headache down the road.
As a growing number of people become better aware of the importance of online security, malicious software developers are consistently stepping up their game. These individuals are constantly finding new ways to distribute their creations and cause problems for anyone unlucky enough to be infected. Of course, this isn’t to say that we should just resign ourselves to occasionally dealing with malware-affected devices. There are a number of easy ways we can defend ourselves against the machinations of cybercriminals, many of which are well within the abilities of any interest user. So if you’re ready to kick malware to the curb, don’t hesitate to put the previously discussed tips into practice.
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