Are you thankful this holiday season that your computer did not become infected with a dangerous malware parasite or are you like the other thousands of ill-fated PC users that happen to be the unfortunate victims of the latest malware scam circulating the Internet? In either situation you probably spent your hard earned money or time in attempting to protect your PC from unforeseen security issues that may arise.
Nowadays, we are faced with an epidemic of malicious parasites and scams from many different angles. We have spam email messages with malicious attachments, hackers on Facebook and Twitter, hacked banking websites and even new sophisticated malware that can go undetected for months at a time. The creators of malware and online scams do not rest and nor should you in protecting your PC from parasites that will not only harm your computer but could result in identity theft and even loss of money.
This holiday season may be the optimal time for you to re-evaluate the state of your computer security. If you are planning on purchasing a new PC for the family, now may be the time to start researching applications that will keep the whole family protected from unexpected computer malware and virus infections. It is nothing like the feeling of spending hundreds of dollars on a new computer to find out that it was infected with malware and causeed loss of all of your valuable information or rendered the system virtually useless because it prevents programs from running. The recent ThinkPoint rogue anti-spyware application (fake security program) is a prime example of a malicious parasite that will prevent you from surfing the Internet. You do not want that type of surprise on your new computer or even your current PC.
Here are 5 PC security tips that will help keep you protected this holiday season
1. Keep your operating system and programs up-to-date.
Running outdated software puts you at risk of vulnerabilities being exploited. Installing and running the latest software will ensure that any previously discovered vulnerabilities are addressed. Not to mention, updated software usually runs faster without as many issues as before.
2. Think about upgrading to Windows 7
Let's face facts; Windows 7 is more secure than Windows XP. If you have a PC that is capable of running Windows 7, you may want to consider purchasing and installing Windows 7. Windows 7 has a lot less vulnerabilities than Windows XP and you may actually enjoy the new 'fresh' look of Windows 7. What better time to upgrade than during the holidays?
3. Don't install just any software without doing research.
It is always best to carefully research the software that you are planning on installing. Failure to do so may result in installing a useless program or worse, a malicious application that causes damage to your computer.
4. If you purchase a new PC make sure the pre-installed anti-virus or anti-spyware software is up-to-date and effectively running.
Many new PCs come bundled with pre-installed security software. Sometimes the security software is either a trial version or is not properly configured to protect your system from new malware parasites. Find out what version of the security software the new PC is running and decide if you wish to purchase the updated version or move onto another type of software. This is another opportunity you can take this holiday season to research and find a trustworthy anti-virus or anti-spyware application.
5. Use safe practices when surfing the Internet.
The Internet is a vast playground for cybercrooks and hackers who exploit vulnerable computer users. If you act foolishly over the Internet by giving away too much personal information or casually click every enticing thing that you see, you may end up being the next victim of identity theft or will easily infect your system with dangerous malware. Never assume that you are safe online because your Facbeook profile is hidden from people who are not listed as your friend. Always be suspicious and never open any messages from someone you do not know.
We have several other resource links listed below to help you with computer security not just for the holidays, but every day.
- Top 5 Identity Theft Prevention Tips
- Essential Safety Tips to Remember When Surfing Online
- Top 6 Crucial Tips to Avoid Malware via Twitter (and other social networks)
- 5 Must-Do Facebook Privacy Settings to Take Control of Your Privacy
- SpyHunter - Powerful, real-time anti-spyware protection