According to the FBI, complaints related to cybercrime increased by one million in the past year. That’s nothing to scoff at! The pandemic gave cyber criminals plenty of opportunities to exploit security vulnerabilities present within people’s devices. Malware, hackers, cyber-attacks: users today face tons of risks just connecting to the internet.
Today, let’s focus on what you can do to secure your PC.
How You Can Protect Your PC
1. Install Security Software
There is a variety of security software out there, all of which you should take a look at if you want your PC to stay secure. Let’s go over a few types of security software.
- VPNs – A VPN for Windows will ensure your data stays encrypted during transit on a network. VPNs are relatively cheap, reliable and make public networks safe to use.
- Anti-virus software – PCs can contract malware from any website, program, or attachment, so it’s important you install an anti-virus program to your PC so you can catch viruses and malware immediately.
- Password managers – Password managers allow you to store all of your passwords in a secure place, removing the need for you to write your passwords down or keep them in a document — both of which are unsafe.
2. Establish a Restore Point & Backup Your Data
If your PC falls victim to malware, there’s a decent chance your data will be corrupted or erased. To avoid losing your data completely, you can set up a restore point and backup your data.
How do restore points and backups differ? Restore points allow a user to reverse their OS to a previous point in time. For example, you can set a restore point to before you updated Windows.
On the other hand, backups are full copies of your OS, documents, photos, programs, settings, and vice versa. Typically, you’d back up your data to an external drive that you can fall back on should anything happen to your data.
Utilizing both restore points and backups is crucial to keeping your data intact. After all, there’s no telling what will happen to your data during a cyber-attack.
3. Ignore Spam Emails
Lastly, you should ignore any emails you receive that are not from known contacts, retailers, or businesses. The majority of spam emails are phishing scams — cyberattacks that manipulate their victims into sharing private data that scammers can use to commit fraud, identity theft, or other cyber-crimes.
Make protecting your PC from cybercriminals a priority. There’s no telling what could happen to your PC, and the more prepared you are, the fewer risks you take with your data.