Advertising, files for download, and registration forms – all of these can be used to infect your device or steal personal data. Even careful and security-conscious PC users can no longer expect to be out of the woods. At this point, simply reacting to the damage is not enough; you need to stay ahead of it.
If you want to be safe online, you need to have a methodical approach to your security. We collected 10 tried-and-proven insights that will help you understand the nature of modern online threats and take preventive actions.
Common Sense is not Enough,
Table of Contents
- (Guide) How To Protect Your PC From Main Security Threats
- Step #1 – Install a Reliable Antivirus
- Step #2 – Thoroughly Scan your File Storage
- Step #3 – Target USB Files & CD/DVD Disks
- Step #4 – Create a Rescue Disk
- Creating a Rescue Disk requires the following Conditions –
- Step #5 – Upgrade your Browser to the Latest Version
- Final Checklist:
(Guide) How To Protect Your PC From Main Security Threats
If you fail to plan in advance, you are planning to fail. Here are some easily executable steps on preparing your computer for any kid on an online threat.
Step #1 – Install a Reliable Antivirus
Don’t shrug this off as an obvious thing. Installing an antivirus does not mean getting by with any built-in tool that you have on your PC. Antivirus selection has to be approved thoroughly and methodically with regards to your needs and PC’s technical characteristics.
Make sure your selected antivirus includes a firewall, real-time scanning on a background mode, and can protect you against all popular threats (malware, ransomware, worms, trojans, rootkits, and others). All upgrades and feature changes should be conveyed clearly with notifications.
Start with downloading a secure free software – you can test the functionality and delete the software anytime. You can start by getting an Avast antivirus offline installer – a small tool that will install one of the most popular security programs, approved by dozens of independent security agencies worldwide.
Step #2 – Thoroughly Scan your File Storage
Once you’ve installed antivirus software, be sure to explore all scanning possibilities. Each of them targets a particular kind of malware. Let’s take a look at the modes, offered by the majority of free tools.
- Smart Scan: detects malware, spyware, network threats, and viruses;
- Full-Virus Scan: an in-depth scan that provides an in-depth check of file storage and rootkits;
- Targeted Scan: pick a particular folder for precise scanning; ● Custom scanning: specify scanning parameters in settings panel; ● Explorer Scan: look for potentially dangerous files and folders.
Step #3 – Target USB Files & CD/DVD Disks
To check hard drives and USB sticks, explore the category of system drive scanning. Whenever a physical device is connected to your computer, the tool will automatically examine the device.
By activating antivirus modules, you can scan applications and software, detect rootkits, and check removable media.
Step #4 – Create a Rescue Disk
Detecting superficial threats, hidden in file storages or USB sticks, is easily done with real-time scanning. However, some viruses can penetrate deeply into the operating system, hiding from superficial detection. That’s when a rescue disk remains the only fix.
Rescue disk antivirus feature is designed for scanning a computer in the inactive state. When the device is not running, the malware is unable to counterattack. This significantly increases your chances of detecting trojans and worms.
Creating a Rescue Disk requires the following Conditions –
- Available threat-free Windows PC where the antivirus of the same family and version is installed. This device will monitor the scanning activity on the inactive computer.
- An empty flash drive with at 500+ MB of free space;
- A blank disk (CD or DVD), if the USB drive is not available.
When the preparation is complete, find the Rescue Disk feature in your antivirus and approve the settings. In Avast, for instance, the function is located on the side panel.
After a Rescue Disk is created, connect the malicious PC to the tool, using a USB drive or CD. Firstly, turn off the device and insert a flash drive with a rescue disk into a connected port. Secondly, turn off the pic and enter the Boot menu to see the results.
In the boot menu, select the type of carrier with the rescue disk. If you used a flash drive, select ‘Removable Devices’.After the PC identified the disk, the scanning begins. From now on, wait for the results in less than an hour.
Step #5 – Upgrade your Browser to the Latest Version
Thee are at least two good reasons for doing that. Firstly, if you have the latest version of antivirus, its web protection services are developed in regards to the functionality of modern browsers. Sure, it will support the older versions too, but having the newest versions of both programs significantly improves the compatibility.
Secondly, your browser can be penetrated without your awareness. Hackers can capitalise on browser’s bugs and penetrate them with worms – the security threats that identify the fragile spots in software and operating system.
Working in a compromised browser is extremely dangerous. Browsers store your passwords, financial information, locations, and history. If this data gets in the wrong hands, you will find yourself in a terrible situation.
Before we wrap this up, let’s go through basic actions that will take exactly a few seconds of your time but have an enormous impact on your device’s security.
- Put up password protection wherever it’s possible. By connecting a personal account to your PC (go to default settings for that), you will create a protected personal account.
- Make sure your antivirus is always on. Threat detection should be a constant process, not an occasional event.
- Don’t delay fixing infected files. Antiviruses do this automatically but only after the user’s approval. Approve of file’s repair right after the threat is found. A mere detection does not mean protection.
- Restart a computer after an in-depth scanning to increase the PC’s speed.
- Frequently check your computer for PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) by creating regular custom scans.
- Generate file reports and monitor scan history to understand whether your security practices are working. If with each next scan, the tool detects fewer issues, you are on the right track.
- Automate threat detection and deletion. Define automatic actions that your antivirus will perform once the risk is identified. This way, you will not have to approve of each deletion or repair – the tool will handle everything. Don’t be afraid to mess up, and these settings can be edited at any time.
Now you know what to do and what to avoid to keep your computer secure. As you can see, all these actions are fast and simple. By preventing the damage before it happens, you save your time and money.