If you want your Windows PC to be as safe as possible, it’s not enough to just use an antivirus program. Comprehensive protection is required to guard against the risks of hacker attacks and private file leakage. In this article, we have prepared 10 useful tips on how to protect your computer.
Of course, it is important that antivirus protection program is installed and actively running on your device. For many years, antivirus software has been considered an important component for a personal computer, but modern IT experts question the effectiveness of this software and its prospects for continuing to protect user data. The program is not always able to recognize a virus and quickly eliminate the threat; in addition, there is a risk that there may be gaps in the PC security system. The developers provide statistics of attacks and suppressed threats with shocking numbers, and marketers continue to assure everyone that their product is very reliable and effective.
But the truth is always relative and it is better to look for a middle ground than to go to extremes. It must be admitted that the work of the antivirus is not perfect, but at the same time the program is by no means useless. This software can warn about a large number of threats, viruses and malicious objects, but this is not enough to guarantee the full security of the system.
So is it necessary to blindly trust the work of the antivirus or even remove it from the PC, disappointed in its ineffectiveness? There is no need to rush to get rid of the program, because it will always come in handy and help at an unforeseen moment. But relying on her completely is too naive and stupid.
The main discussion of the century about antivirus scanners was started by Robert O’Callahan, one of the developers of Firefox. According to him, antivirus programs pose a threat to the Windows system and you should get rid of them immediately. The only exception is Microsoft’s Windows Defender, which is integrated by default.
The developers themselves defend their programs. For example, representatives of Kaspersky Lab say that in 2016, about 760 million attacks from the Internet on user computers were registered and prevented.
In this regard, CHIP are inclined to believe that there is no need to rush to write off anti-virus software, since it is an important component of comprehensive computer protection.
- Important Tips on How to Increase the Security of Your PC
- Install the correct antivirus software
- Always stay tuned
- Configure your firewall
- Use special protection
- Strengthen data encryption
- Protect all user accounts
- Use a VPN not only at home
- Eliminate all unused wireless connections
- Manage your passwords
- Take care of the safety of your actions in the browser
- Backup – what is important to know
Important Tips on How to Increase the Security of Your PC
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to fully and effectively protect your computer. Follow the guidelines below to ensure that hackers and viruses don’t come as an unpleasant surprise to you.
Install the correct antivirus software
Still, for Windows OS it is desirable to have an antivirus program, the main thing is to choose the right and effective product. If you have version 10, then it is quite possible to limit yourself to Windows Defender. It fits the system perfectly, and the developers have already released the Creators Update to make the program as simple and affordable as possible.
If we consider third-party products, then the best solution would be Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 – a compact and functional product with parental control and a password manager. If the last two options are not important for you, you can pay attention to a more budgetary product presented by the developers.
Always stay tuned
Any antivirus product that you have installed on your computer requires regular updates. This process, as a rule, occurs automatically or you can control it through the program settings. These Windows system updates are very easy to obtain and do not require user intervention to install.
If you find it difficult to update via Firefox and Chrome, then use the utility SUMo (Software Update Monitor) – it informs about all updates and helps to quickly install them. A similar service DUMo (Driver Update Monitor) is suitable for updating drivers. Both products are free and serve as nice helpers for informing about new software updates.
Configure your firewall
The built-in Windows Firewall allows you to block all incoming requests, but its functionality does not end there. All installed products can fully open ports, and if you install the Windows Firewall Control utility, then you can even more control the security mode of your computer.
After starting, you need to go to the “Profiles” menu and select the “Medium Filtering” filter mode. This way, the firewall will start to control all outgoing traffic by following the specified set of rules. You set the control parameters yourself.
Use special protection
System updates, antivirus software, and an active firewall are three key pillars of your protection, but now let’s move on to the tweaks. Often additional programs are deprived of the ability to use all the protective options. If you use EMET (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) to get rid of exploits, you will significantly increase the protection and operational efficiency of your software. The utility is activated by the “Use Recommended Settings” command and then works in automatic mode.
Strengthen data encryption
Using encryption techniques, you can increase the level of protection of your personal data. If suddenly your files fall into the wrong hands, with high-quality encoding, a hacker will not be able to bypass the lock and gain access to them. In the professional version of Windows, there is a BitLocker service that is configured by the user through the control panel.
A good encryption program is VeraCrypt. It is open source, focused on protecting personal information, while the user creates an encrypted container through the “Create Volume” option. Next, you need to select “Create an encrypted file container” and follow the installation prompts.
Protect all user accounts
Hackers cannot exploit a large number of vulnerabilities in your PC just for the reason that all work is done from an account with limited rights. To accomplish your daily tasks, it is recommended that you set up an account. For example, in the 7th version of the system, you can use the control panel and add / remove an account. And in the 10th version, go to the section with the parameters for the accounts and select the section with the family.
Use a VPN not only at home
As part of a home wireless network, you have a high level of security, because it is you who control access to the local network by unauthorized persons and the reliability of encryption and access codes depends on your actions. When you connect to public Wi-Fi points in your favorite cafe, mall, hotel or other public place, traffic is distributed between third-party users, therefore the security level is significantly reduced, and in addition, you are not able to influence it.
It’s another matter if you use a Windows VPN service to browse the Internet completely anonymously, without fear that a public hotspot threatens unauthorized access to your data.
For example, the Opera browser has a built-in VPN that you can customize for your personal needs in the security section.
Eliminate all unused wireless connections
Even the smallest details can make the big picture important. If you do not use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth regularly or constantly, it is better to turn them off to close all potential risks of penetration into your PC. If you have a 10, this is quickly done through the notification center. In the 7th version of the system, you need to enter the network connections through the control panel.
Manage your passwords
Use each password only once, do not set the same access code for all important accounts, while coming up with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, include numbers and symbols in it. It is better if it is a long random alphabetic character set. Such a password is difficult to crack and increases the security of your account.
But today passwords are not used separately, but are combined with confirmation of access entry via e-mail, SMS-informing or face control using a webcam. For example, if your camera is equipped with Windows Hello technology, you can safely use it to log in – this way, access will be opened through the recognition of the user’s face.
To create complex passwords, use a special manager program such as KeePass.
Take care of the safety of your actions in the browser
Online confidentiality is important and absolutely necessary in order to exclude surveillance by third parties. For example, in the Firefox browser, this function is perfectly performed by the Privacy Settings extension. When you install and enable it, your browser will not display any information about your online activities.
Backup – what is important to know
The importance of backups is that backups help you recover from virus infections and hardware problems. It is better to make a copy of the entire operating system once, and then regularly create backups at every important stage of work.
Windows 10 inherited the archive and restore module from its predecessor so that the user can use it to create a backup.
As special utilities, you can use True Image – for file protection or Macrium Reflect – this is a paid version with extended functionality. Personal Backup performs well as a free product.