Browse the Web Safely by Preventing Viruses on Your Computer

It seems like every day a new virus hits the Internet. By now, you know how important it is to keep your computer and any other Internet-capable devices protected against malware. There are several steps you can take to ensure that you are safe while on the web. 

Keep Your Devices Regularly Updated 
First and foremost, all of your devices should be kept updated to the latest operating system if it is upgradable. Regularly download security patches to your PC or Mac when they become available. If your smartphone or tablet has a software update, you can wait for a short time to update, but you should do so sooner rather than later to ensure that they are protected against all the latest malware that’s out there. Don’t neglect to update your devices’ Internet browser as well. 

Install Antivirus Software 
You want to keep your computers and other devices that can browse the web protected with antivirus software. At the very least, Windows, Mac, Chromebook and Android devices should be protected by an antivirus program. While iOS devices can become vulnerable to viruses, they generally don’t have antivirus protection per se.  Make sure to regularly run your software and install any new security patches and updates as they come. You may want to set the programs to automatically update just to be safe. 

Use Anti-Spyware and Other Anti-Malware Software 
In addition to antivirus protection, you should also install anti-spyware and other anti-malware programs to prevent all forms of ransomware from getting into your system. These programs are more sophisticated than ever to detect all types of malware and stop them before they infect your device. 

Use a Firewall 
Both Windows and Mac come with a firewall that is built into the system. You can choose to use that one or install a third-party firewall to keep track of all traffic coming in. A firewall can help to weed out any unwanted data and hackers who can potentially gain access to your information and files. 

Be Smart When Browsing 
When you are browsing the Internet, always be smart. Be wary of any website that appears suspicious. Make note of the end of the web address as well. For example, if you know that eBay is a .com, you should immediately know to avoid a website that calls itself “eBay” but ends with a .net. Additionally, these days, more and more websites are using encryption for better Internet security. If a site has “https” at the beginning of its URL, then it is secure. You should avoid typing in any sensitive information when you are accessing a site that has “http” at the start of its URL. Likewise, you should avoid clicking on any links that appear suspect. Many popups and ads that appear on websites, especially those that offer some type of promise or even services that claim they will clean up your computer, should be avoided. These things often contain spyware, adware and even viruses that can infect your system. 

By following these practices, you can help to prevent ransomware, malware or other viruses on your computer and browse the web safely.

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