How to Protect My Computer From Viruses, Spyware, and Hackers

Protect yourself

The internet is like the wild wild west of the 1800’s. It is an international community and there is not a lot of international laws to govern the internet. Being the new frontier, many people are out looking to scam users for fame or monetary gain. Since the internet is a global community it allows international scammers to scam you with basically no repercussions. We’ve all heard of the Nigerian scam emails.

Identity protection is crucial

Think about all the sensitive information that passes on the computer. I use the internet to do just about everything.

  • Pay my bills
  • Handle my bank accounts
  • Write sensitive emails
  • Purchase products
  • Store valuable documents and pictures

Now I’m fairly certain that you have probably only 1-2 passwords you use with all your online accounts. Think about the havoc that one can do to you if your password gets out. There is malicious software called keyloggers that keeps track of everything you type on your keyboard and sends that information to a scammer. This can be credit card information, social security numbers, personal information, logins, and passwords. This is how identity fraud happens in addition to other methods. Another common tactic is called phishing, where a user is tricked via a link, email, or virus to a website that looks legitimate. One tactic is to clone a website like citibank.com which is easy to do and then have unsuspecting users enter personal information which gets transmitter to the scammer.

4 Tips to protect my computer from viruses

How to protect my computer from viruses, spyware, and hackers. Here are some tips to use.

  1. Avoid illegal sites- If possibly, avoid going to shady sites. Sites that offer free stuff, illegal downloads, and hacker sites often have hidden agendas. Usually they want to make money off of you. Why else would they take the time to put up stuff for free and pay for its costs.
  2. Use OpenDNS- DNS is Domain Name System and when you type in Google.com into your browser, DNS is the service that converts Google.com to a unique IP address to locate Google servers. OpenDNS is a completely free service that blocks web addresses that are potentially harmful. Potentially mistyping a web address could potentially take you to a harmful site, but not with OpenDNS. Visit http://opendns.com to find out how to use their free service and visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305553 to find out how to set your DNS in windows
  3. User Siteadvisor plugin- Siteadvisor is a plugin for your web browser and informs you of a website’s reputation. It can help you from going to harmful websites
  4. Get internet security software- Probably the most important thing and your last line of defense is internet security software. Internet security software is a program which usually bundles antivirus, antispyware, firewall, and other security features to help prevent malicious activity happening on your computer.