Having a secure computer ecosystem provides a sense of safety while browsing the web or sharing files with others. Who doesn’t want to have a reliable home network, right? However, many of us don’t know where to start.
Before moving to the helpful suggestions to secure your system, let’s first understand why you need to do so.
Why is computer security important?
Keeping your computer secure will help avoid direct hacking attempts and malware attacks that are designed to steal personal information. Your computer stores important data that includes your business and legal details as well as financial statements; therefore, protecting it from unauthorized access is crucial.
Attackers can infect the computer system with malicious programs in many different ways.
It might lead to various issues, such as data exposure, or some things not functioning properly. For instance, the youtube app not working when you try to launch it, or Activity Monitor now showing background process information correctly.
For intruders, it’s quite easy to take advantage of the vulnerabilities and unsafe security practices existing in several programs. Once your computer is infected, hackers can use malware to unlock access to the computer for performing unethical actions, from stealing information to changing computer configurations without your knowledge.
Here, We will try to describe some ways to improve computer security for better browsing including Network system, OS as well as Firewall.
Ways to Improve Computer Security
Following are some important actions you can try to make your computer secure. While no individual action can ensure complete security, together, they can strengthen the defense and reduce the risk of malicious activities.
Connect to a Reliable Network
Almost all your network devices and touchpoints such as modems, internet service providers (ISPs), and digital subscriber lines (DSL) provide extensive security monitoring; you should pay extra attention to the routers. Being the first point of contact, the routers are responsible for receiving information from the web, so it has to be safe and defensive.
Configure a Firewall Protection
A firewall monitors and controls both incoming and outgoing web traffic on the basis of predefined security rules. They are considered a security parameter that sets a barrier between a reliable and an unreliable network. Though the operating system is integrated with the firewall, most router devices have built-in firewall protection.
Remove Redundant Software
Your computer comes pre-installed with several software applications, some of which have never been used ever. The older the app turns, the more vulnerable it becomes to computer security. Deleting these apps will help make the computer a better place. So, identify apps that you do not use and remove them permanently from the hard drive.
Install Antivirus & Anti-Spyware
While browsing the internet, beware of clicking the links that can make your computer susceptible to malware. To prevent such security threats, make sure to download an anti-spyware app that will nosedive any malicious programs even before they enter your computer ecosystem, putting your data at risk.
Use a VPN Connection
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network that encrypts your browsing history to hide online activity. It guards your computer against hackers by hiding the IP address, personal data, and other activities. A VPN helps you browse the web securely and safely by adding a protective layer to your network.
Safeguard Your Internet Browser
Web browsers have become an integral part of the digital world and our day-to-day lives. Secure your browser by configuring the privacy and security settings. Keep your browser updated, be cautious when installing plugins and extensions, uninstall any unrequired extensions, install security plugins, and download stuff carefully to prevent any kind of security threats.
Keep Software Up to Date
Software manufacturers release frequent updates with security patches that are meant to fix any security issues with the previous versions. Keep your software applications up-to-date by installing all available updates regularly when they are available. This enhances your computer’s security significantly.
Operate System with Restricted Access
If you are using your administrator account to access data or browse the web, you can make your computer vulnerable to numerous security and data breaches. It is recommended that you log in with a standard account with restricted access rights so that you cannot make changes to security settings accidentally while browsing the web.
Browse the Web Safely
While browsing the web, clicking a link sometimes redirects you to a malicious website that contains illicit content. You should use a reliable browser such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, or similar that integrates highly secure security algorithms. These browsers help to block malicious websites and prevent malware from running automatically on the computer.
Stay Clear of Pirated Stuff
Piracy is a serious concern that needs to be controlled to protect the internet world and turn it into a better place with authentic content only. Avoid downloading music, movies, books, apps, images, and other similar content that do not come from reliable websites or trusted sources. The content on illegal websites can contain malware.
Avoid Connecting Unknown Peripherals
Do not connect an unknown USB, external drive, or even keyboard and mouse to your computer. The external devices can contain viruses and malware that can infect your computer beyond repair. Your computer can turn victim to hackers who can steal your data, making it inaccessible.
How often should I update my operating system and software?
A: It is recommended to update your operating system and software as soon as new updates are available, as they often include security patches and bug fixes.
What is the best antivirus software?
A: There are many reputable antivirus software options available, such as Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky. It’s best to research and compare different options to find the one that best fits your needs.
What is the difference between a firewall and a VPN?
A: A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. A VPN, on the other hand, encrypts your internet connection and makes it difficult for hackers to intercept your data.
How do I generate a strong and unique password?
A: A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. A unique password should not be used for any other account.
How can I tell if a link is malicious?
A: If a link looks suspicious or is from an unknown source, it is best to not click on it. You can also hover over the link to see the URL it will take you to before clicking on it.
Can ad blockers slow down my browsing experience?
A: Ad blockers can slightly slow down your browsing experience, as they need to process and block ads before they load on a website. However, the overall effect on browsing speed is generally minimal.
In conclusion, computer security is crucial for protecting your personal information and ensuring a safe browsing experience. By regularly updating your operating system and software, using a reputable antivirus software, using a firewall, using a VPN, using strong and unique passwords, using two-factor authentication, using a password manager, being cautious when clicking on links, using ad blockers, using privacy-focused browsers, and educating yourself about online security, you can greatly improve your computer security and have a more secure browsing experience.