At one time or another, most of us have dealt with a computer virus. Although viruses tend to vary in terms of severity, even the minor ones can be difficult to definitively vanquish. While virtually everyone has been impacted by a computer virus at some point, some of us tend to get them more than others. Some people may be tempted to write this off as bad luck, but in actuality, there are a number of common mistakes that habitual virus victims make. In order to nip future infections in the bud, it’s important to understand these blunders and take measures to avoid them.
No Dedicated Antivirus Protection
It’s a common misconception that dedicated antivirus software is a relic of the past. Now that most modern-day operating systems provide some measure of virus protection, many people believe that the aforementioned software is no longer needed. While somewhat understandable, this belief couldn’t be more misguided. Rather than functioning as a substitute for dedicated software, your operating system is meant to work in tandem with it in order to provide you with dependable antivirus protection. So, if viruses have routinely manifested themselves on your computer, there’s a good chance that a lack of dedicated software is at least partially to blame. As such, if your PC is currently bereft of specialized antivirus software, there’s no time like the present to correct this mistake.
Unbeknownst to many of us, our computers are currently home to a bevy of vulnerable apps. More often than not, this vulnerability is the direct result of failing to install updates in a timely manner. Updates are often created for the purpose of patching security vulnerabilities and/or combating emerging cyber threats, and refusing to install them as they become available is likely to negatively impact your computer’s overall safety.
In addition to installing app updates in an expedient fashion, you’ll also need to stay on top of operating system updates. As is the case with apps, many O.S. updates pertain directly to security matters, and the longer you put off installing them, the more vulnerable you leave your computer. To help ensure that you’re never again tempted to place important updates on the backburner, enable automatic updates for your operating system and apps.
Lack of Ad Blockers
Infected ads are among the most notorious sources of virus attacks. However, with the help of a good ad blocker, you can effectively eliminate this threat. Depending on the browser you use, there’s a good chance that its built-in ad-blocking features will provide the protection you seek. If this turns out not to be the case, it may be necessary to seek out a reliable third-party ad blocker. Before proceeding to use one, peruse a wide assortment of user reviews to determine which third-party ad blocker best meets your security needs. Additionally, for good measure, install a dependable script blocker or enable your browser’s script-blocking properties.
Unsafe Browsing Habits
Unsafe browsing habits are one of the most common reasons for virus infections. Unsurprisingly, visiting websites that lack proper security authentication can result in a whole host of nasty cyberthreats finding their way onto your computer. If you’re looking to amend such habits, make a point of never visiting a website that triggers a security warning from your browser, operating system or dedicated antivirus software. Additionally, any site you visit should possess a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate and a trust seal, as both of these indicate a commitment to online security. Furthermore, since a single ill-advised click can result in a virus attack, you should also steer clear of links from unfamiliar and/or untrustworthy sources.
Given how prevalent a threat computer viruses have become, many of us have simply resigned ourselves to the occasional infection. While it’s true that some viruses pose a much greater danger than others, no virus is easy to deal with, and some can prove outright devastating. When searching for effective ways to keep virus attacks at bay, you can’t go wrong with preventative measures. Of course, a large part of virus prevention is understanding why infections occur in the first place. So, if you’re curious as to why your computer regularly finds itself on the receiving end of virus attacks, consider the oversights discussed above.