Malware is everywhere these days. Businesses, individuals, and even servers can be affected at any time. While there is no surefire way to block 100% of threats at all times, you should still take the proper precautionary measures to ensure you’re protecting your data to the best of your ability.
The following checklist details the Do’s and Don’ts of Malware Protection. Follow these practices and you’ll be one step closer to a lasting security.
Use Anti-Malware & Antivirus Software – Most Mac users will tell you that there’s no need for anti-malware software on their devices, and they would be wrong. Malware and viruses can be found on all operating systems. Macs are no exception.
Use Different Passwords for All of Your Accounts – It may be a hassle, but if a hacker were to uncover the password for one of your accounts, you’d still be protected in all other areas. It’s worth the extra effort.
Use Strong Passwords – This one is a no-brainer. How many people do you know who have made their password, password? Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Keep Your Operating System & Web Browsers Up-to-Date – When your OS or software becomes outdated, it’s easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities within them. This happened recently with QuickTime for Windows. If you still have the program installed on your PC, remove it immediately.
Ensure Your Firewall Is Turned On – Most Microsoft PCs will come with Windows Defender pre-installed. While this is a decent firewall, you’ll want to invest in other options for additional protection.
Download Software From Shady Sources – If you haven’t heard of the developer or the site you’re downloading a file from, you need to get out immediately. When in doubt, do your research. And if you’re downloading music or video illegally, you’re likely putting yourself in a malware-rich environment.
Enter Personal Information on Publicly Shared Devices – You don’t own the device, so you don’t know if malware might be lurking within it. Abide by this simple rule: If you wouldn’t say the information out loud, don’t type it into a public device.
Enter Personal Information on Unprotected Public WiFi Networks – Just like the above tip, free WiFi networks likely don’t have the same security measures as your home or business network. Do business in a private environment.
Create a Document With Passwords in It – What’s worse than using the same password for everything? Housing all of them in the same document on your computer. If an outside source were to come across the document, all of your personal & business data would be compromised.
Click on Pop-Up Ads – Stop us if you’ve seen this one before… “YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN INFECTED, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR ANTI-MALWARE SOFTWARE”
If anti-malware software is advertising in a pop-up, it’s probably not what you think it is. If you receive a pop-up that looks enticing, click out of it, and search for the product or service within it instead. Do your due diligence.
Give Out Your Personal Information in an Email – No, that prince from a country you couldn’t point out on a map doesn’t actually exist, nor does he want to give you $40 million dollars. He wants your personal information. Don’t give in.
Open an Email Attachment From an Unknown Source – Businesses receive plenty of fake emails from potential applicants and other sources. Even if the title is Resume.doc, it’s not worth the risk of opening the attachment unless you know who’s sending it. A new cybersecurity threat, Locky, has been circulating around in email form lately. Know what you’re getting yourself into.
For best practices on all of these measures and many, many more, get in touch with us. Malware protection is our profession, and we’re darn good at it.