Keeping your computer and personal devices free of malware calls not just for constant personal vigilance, but also assistance from professional security firms. Malware these days is not targeted at computers alone but mobile devices as well. And the problem is bigger than you may be led to believe.
As you most likely are aware, there are many ways your device can get infected: from a friend’s USB stick to multiple online ways. A security program alone is not enough of a security net.
According to IBM, about 1 billion data records were leaked in 2014 alone with majority of the cases suffered in the United States. The probable reason given for this was the stringent data breach disclosure laws in the country. Of the attacks, malware and DDoS attacks took the lead in terms of volume. You may also recall the ad-related malware attack that hit tens of thousands of Yahoo users (per hour) with the majority of incidents observed in Romania, the UK and France.
In short, you can fall victim to a malware attack regardless of where you are. This could be through the social networks you use, the web browsers you use, email, IM, and files you download.
Secure your Network
Protecting yourself from malware starts on your home network and the rest follow. For starters, your network router should be password-protected and not using the default password that came with it.
Next, have a firewall installed and active on every computer on your network to prevent unauthorized access by the outside world. A secure network should be your computer’s first line of defense and your mobile devices’ too.
Anytime you are online, desist from opening spam of whatever kind. And spam is not just the emails appearing in your junk/spam folder. Malware scams can arise from your computer like the Microsoft Tech Support phone scam proved. Be wary of any unsolicited tech support offer whether on or offline.
Building trust with your kids and having open conversations with them never hurt. Whatever device that falls in your family’s network ring should have parental controls. Another thing – ensure only administrators can install new software on your devices and if you can, limit guest user Internet access.
Passwords in Web Browsers
Avoid saving passwords in your web browser irrespective of the user. LastPass may have been infiltrated recently (no one is exempt) but a password manager offers an extra layer of protection.
Keep Programs Updated
Ensure all your devices are regularly updated to offer a defense against attacks that seek to exploit vulnerabilities in your systems. These range from the operating system, installed security apps, plug-ins like the popular Adobe Flash, Java, and Acrobat, and also web browsers and video players such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player.
Follow these five tips and you can sleep better knowing that you’ve taken the first steps of protecting yourself against malware attacks on not just your computer, but also mobile devices.